Cloud computing Jos van Hillegersberg - SURFmagazine


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Interview with Prof.dr. J. van Hillegersberg about cloud computing

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Cloud computing Jos van Hillegersberg - SURFmagazine

  1. 1. INTERVIEW Jos van Hillegersberg (University of twente): ‘CloUd CompUting gives yoU a great opportUnity Photo: Martin Bosker to foCUs on sUpport for tHe primary proCess’ 2 03 2010 published in SURF magazine September 2010
  2. 2. QUICk aCCess TO New fUNCTIONaLITy C LO U D CO M P U T I N G Popular Internet services such as YouTube, Gmail, and Skype have been around for years now, but the concept of ‘cloud computing’ is relatively new. What is its value in higher education and research? What is the future of this technology? We put five questions to Prof. Jos van Hillegersberg (University of Twente). what role does cloud computing play SharePoint environment. It’s a pity. Cloud comput- in your field, business information ing can also be extremely useful when collaborating systems? on a project: you decide what functionality you ‘I see cloud computing as part of the trend – one need, set up the necessary services, and at the end that started years ago – towards ‘making less of the project you just pull out the plug.’ yourself and buying in more’. It began with con- tracting out software development. Around the what cloud computing options are there beginning of the present century, we saw the rise for higher education and research of Application Service Provisioning (ASP), in institutions? which software that an organisation had either ‘It offers ICT departments a great opportunity to developed itself or purchased was installed on the finally focus on supporting the primary process hardware of the ASP service provider. This was rather than devoting the majority of their time to followed by Software as a Service (Saas), the pro- management and maintenance. After all, it’s a lot curement of software in the form of components. more interesting to help end users select the right We have now arrived at the stage of cloud com- solutions and then integrate them for them. puting, a broad range of ready-to-use services. Whatever service you need – a back-up facility, Staff and students at every organisation – including storage space, or e-mail – you find it somewhere higher education and research institutions – already on the Internet – i.e. within the ‘cloud’ – and you subscribe to the service for as long as you need it. ‘Very few organisations have Cloud computing is extremely interesting because it quickly provides you with the new functionality thought about protecting that you require.’ sensitive data when using what about cloud computing in dutch higher education and research? cloud computing’ ‘It isn’t used much at the moment, according to a study that we carried out. One or two institutions rent back-up space at Amazon on a case-by-case are switching to e-mail from within the cloud, for basis, or use Dropbox to exchange large files. The example Google’s Gmail. But hardly any serious ICT department can throw up all kinds of objec- use is yet being made of cloud solutions for office tions and simply block services such as Skype, but I applications such as word processing or docu- think that’s a pointless way to go. You can’t stop ment and calendar management. That’s despite the trend in any case, just like you couldn’t stop the ICT departments devoting a lot of manpower and onward march of the PC back in the 1980s. It’s far energy to setting up such things as their own better to think hard about how to support the 03 2010 3 published in SURF magazine September 2010
  3. 3. Jos van hillegersberg, professor Business information systems, University of twente publications – to be supported from within the cloud. At the moment, it’s still mainly traditional tools that are used – like MS Project or Oracle Finance – and that are installed locally. That’s extremely clumsy, definitely when it comes to col- laboration within European research projects. I Photo : Martin Bosker think that cloud computing will become very important in that kind of context.’ what you think of sUrf’s aims in this field as set out in its strategic plan 2011–2014? ‘All in all, I agree with those aims. SURF’s role is to bring people together and to provide guidelines, in this case on how to take and justify decisions Jos van Hillegersberg on cloud computing and on what needs to be considered as regards privacy and security. Jos van Hillegersberg is a professor of Design and Implementation of There’s still a lot of missionary work that needs to Business Information Systems at the faculty of Management and be done, because it has major consequences for Governance at the University of Twente. He specialises in ‘Information your ICT organisation. That’s why I think it’s a Systems for a Networked World’. Prof. Hillegersberg is a member of good idea to set up a kind of ‘test environment’. SURF’s Scientific Technical Council (WTR) and one of the authors of I see SURF as the driving force that turns the the Council’s Trend Report on ICT – Basis for Innovation [ICT - spotlight on to new possibilities. That’s a good Fundament voor vernieuwing] (2008). That report formed the basis way of getting people moving.’ for SURF’s Strategic Plan 2011–2014. Daphne riksen MOre INfOrMaTION MOre INfOrMaTION ‘ClOUD COMPUTING AND THE POWER TO CHOOSE’, EDUCAUSE REVIEW MAY/JUNE 2010 ‘ClOUD COMPUTING IN HET ONDERWIJS, MINDER trend. What rules need to be observed, for exam- zORG OM TECHNIEk, MEER PROFIJT VAN ICT’, ple, so as to protect sensitive data? Very few PUBlISHED BY THE SURFNET/kENNISNET organisations have actually thought about this, let INNOVATION PROGRAMME alone developed a strategy.’ cloudcomputing what will the situation be in ten years or so? ‘I hope that the ICT expert who currently man- ages the e-mail server will be helping teaching Cloud computing staff to select the most appropriate tools for their discipline, their approach to education, and the The Internet is often seen as a kind of ‘cloud’, number of students that they teach. A lot of the and ‘cloud computing’ means providing or tools in fact already exist: for teaching online, for using scalable services via the Internet. pinning up student papers on virtual display Because these services can be provided boards, aids that facilitate interaction and collab- ready-made, more time and scope becomes oration. But instructors don’t really know how it available for supporting the primary process, all works and they have trouble making use of all namely education and research. SURF’s the different possibilities. They're busy enough recent Strategic Plan 2011–2014 gives cloud already just dealing with their actual discipline. computing a prominent place, as well as such important related aspects as security and As far as research is concerned, my ideal is for the privacy. whole of a project – from the initial idea right through to the reports, financial accounting, and MOre INfOrMaTION 4 03 2010 published in SURF magazine September 2010