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Campus Technology: The Future of Lecture Capture is in the Cloud


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Campus Technology: The Future of Lecture Capture is in the Cloud

  1. 1. The Future for Lecture Capture Solutions is in the Cloud Institutions will realize considerable value from on- demand solutions A Datamonitor whitepaper prepared for Publication Date: January 2010 Datamonitor USA Datamonitor Europe Datamonitor Germany Datamonitor Asia Pacific Datamonitor Japan 245 Fifth Avenue Charles House Kastor & Pollux Darling Park Wakamatsu Bldg 7F 4th Floor 108-110 Finchley Road Platz der Einheit 1 Tower 2, Level 21 3-3-6 Nihonbashi-Honcho New York, NY 10016 London NW3 5JJ 60327 Frankfurt 201 Sussex Street Chuo-ku USA United Kingdom Deutschland Sydney NSW 2000 Tokyo 103-0023 Australia Japan t: +1 212 686 7400 t: +44 20 7675 7000 t: +49 69 9750 3119 t: +61 2 9006 1526 t: +813 6202 7681 f: +1 212 686 2626 f: +44 20 7675 7500 f: +49 69 9750 3320 f: +61 2 9006 1559 f: +813 5778 7537 e: e: e: e: e:
  2. 2. The Future for Lecture Capture Solutions is in the Cloud ABOUT DATAMONITOR Datamonitor plc is a premium business information company specializing in industry analysis. We help our clients, 5000 of the world‟s leading companies, to address complex strategic issues. Through our proprietary databases and wealth of expertise, we provide clients with unbiased expert analysis and in-depth forecasts for six industry sectors: Automotive, Consumer Markets, Energy, Financial Services, Healthcare, Technology. Datamonitor maintains its headquarters in London and has regional offices in New York, Frankfurt and Hong Kong. The Future for Lecture Capture Solutions is in the Cloud © Datamonitor (Published 01/2010) Page 2 This report is a licensed product and is not to be photocopied
  3. 3. The Future for Lecture Capture Solutions is in the Cloud THE FUTURE FOR LECTURE CAPTURE IS IN THE CLOUD Higher education can no longer ignore the value of on- demand As other industries embraced cloud computing as a strategy for reducing costs and improving services, higher education „waited in the wings,‟ arguing that colleges and universities had unique characteristics which precluded the its adoption. Figure 1: Advantages of the cloud and on-demand delivery model Advantages of SaaS/ Cloud Computing Reliability Increased On-demand vendors offer Functionality 24/7 support for hardware Cloud-delivered solutions are and software glitches. They faster to deploy. These are able to provide applications are also redundancies in the network, configurable and easily ensure minimal downtime scalable. On-demand and provide round-the-clock vendors often provide more monitoring of its data updates than they would for centers. on-premise solutions. Reduced Upfront Reduced IT Complexity Security Costs On-demand vendors provide Since a cloud-delivered solution is There are no upfront costs hosted and managed by the vendor solutions through state-of- associated with purchasing and deployed via the internet, there the-art secure data centers software and infrastructure. is one less application in the which have multiple firewalls, Cloud delivery uses a institutional IT landscape. This back-up procedures and subscription-based, pay-as- frees up the IT staff to focus on redundancies to ensure no you go pricing model. other systems or provide more data is lost or compromised. services to end-users. Source: Datamonitor DATAMONITOR The Future for Lecture Capture Solutions is in the Cloud © Datamonitor (Published 01/2010) Page 3 This report is a licensed product and is not to be photocopied
  4. 4. The Future for Lecture Capture Solutions is in the Cloud Yet recent financial events and the acceleration of long-emerging trends have undermined the power of the argument against using an on-demand delivery model in the higher education market. Institutions increasingly face the need to provide more and higher quality services to students on budgets that are flat or even decreasing. Cloud computing offers colleges and universities, of any size or type, a compelling path out of this dilemma. In the following section, Datamonitor provides an overview of how the cloud provides significant value by addressing key institutional pain points, including:  IT departments struggle to keep pace with escalating complexity;  Students expect institutional services to have 24x7 availability;  The cloud provides a compelling TCO proposition for institutions; and  The pace of change for IT solutions is accelerating rapidly. IT departments struggle to keep pace with escalating complexity Over the last decade, the uptake of technology has surged in the higher education market. Institutions are coming to realize that technology is a powerful tool for customizing instruction to the needs of individual students and has the potential to help educators overcome the challenges associated with effectively teaching a large and diverse group of students. In addition, students increasingly expect technology to support all facets of college life, from the classroom to the dorm room to the library and back again. In order to recruit and retain the best students, institutions must provide the latest technology solutions, which are increasingly becoming more complex by the day. Institutional IT departments are stretched to the breaking point, as they often do not have the relevant resources or expertise to maintain and support these new applications effectively, let alone existing systems ones. With smaller operating budgets and fewer opportunities to work with cutting-edge technology, t is often difficult for institutions to hire skilled IT personnel. In addition, many colleges and universities suffer from shortages in their centralized IT group due to skilled staff leaving for higher paying jobs in the private business sector. Due to the personnel challenges IT departments face, higher education institutions are increasingly outsourcing their IT functions and accessing solutions through on-demand delivery models. The software vendor‟s internal staff already has the expertise in the solution and can provide institutions with knowledge and support that the institution‟s IT department would be hard-pressed to match. The Future for Lecture Capture Solutions is in the Cloud © Datamonitor (Published 01/2010) Page 4 This report is a licensed product and is not to be photocopied
  5. 5. The Future for Lecture Capture Solutions is in the Cloud Students expect institutional services to have 24x7 availability Not long ago were the days when dial-up, slow internet access, and low performance rates were the norm. The internet has come a long way in the last decade. Today‟s first-year student is well versed in technology, with no recollection of a world without instant access to information. Students perceive technology more as an extension of everyday life than as an innovation or premium service. Therefore, it is understandable that students expect that when a computer is turned on, there will be an instant wireless connection that enables them to read email, update their Facebook profile, chat with a friend or professor on Instant Messenger or download the latest course materials and lecture video. Students hold a fast-paced, „the world is at your fingertips‟ mentality, and expect that their college or university will provide the same technological resources. Therefore, it is imperative that institutions ensure that their IT infrastructure and networks are „up and running‟ and accessible 24/7, 365 days a year. This round-the-clock reliability has become even more important as institutions incorporate online and distant learning programs, in which students often need access to the school‟s networks long after midnight. The cost associated with maintaining a myriad of applications and IT services on a 24/7 basis, however, has crept beyond the capacity and budgetary will of many institutions, driving them to consider cloud-delivered solutions. Vendors providing on-demand solutions are often better positioned to provide 24/7 support and ensure that the end users do not experience any downtime by providing redundancies in the network and round-the- clock monitoring of tier-one data centers. As students‟ expectations of instant access to IT applications increases, as will expectations for institutional support services and solution reliability. Since providing „five nines‟ or 99.999% reliability is outside of the mission statement of most institutions, turning to cloud computing and hosted delivery models for mission-critical applications makes sense. Cloud computing provides a compelling TCO proposition for institutions At a time when the economy is reeling and institutions are cutting operational budgets, the importance of managing and having visibility into the total cost of ownership (TCO) of any solution becomes particularly acute. Many institutions do not have the IT infrastructure or staff to support the addition of new applications, and so implementing a new solution on-premise is often a huge and costly undertaking from a resources perspective. An on-premise model entails purchasing hardware, software and licenses up-front, as well as potentially hiring additional staff to maintain the application, which would incur a large capital expense and strain on existing operating budgets. In addition to these costs, institutions are often required to pay the vendor for general support and software upgrades. Much of this is paid up-front The Future for Lecture Capture Solutions is in the Cloud © Datamonitor (Published 01/2010) Page 5 This report is a licensed product and is not to be photocopied
  6. 6. The Future for Lecture Capture Solutions is in the Cloud through a yearly contract, so institutions must play a guessing game in terms of how many licenses to purchase and how much of the budget to allocate for system support. On the other hand, cloud computing provides a lower and more visible TCO to the institution, as it is not required to purchase anything up-front – no hardware, software, licenses or support. Since cloud computing is sold as a service, the institution pays the vendor on a monthly or annual subscription basis, typically including 24/7 support, contractual levels of reliability and free software upgrades. The cloud computing subscription model is much more predictable and easier for institutions to allocate the appropriate funds. The pace of change for IT solutions is accelerating rapidly With technology vendors releasing new features and versions of their application every few months, IT personnel managing applications on-premise can become bogged down with staying current with the latest release or patch. In the event an institution does not upgrade to a newer version, the technology provider will only offer support for a few years. For most institutions, major upgrades are scheduled for the summer and winter breaks, when there is minimal disruption to the end users. Therefore, it can become cumbersome for IT staff to coordinate all maintenance work, install new hardware and software, and ensure everything works as it should before the fall and spring semesters begin. In the case of applications delivered through the cloud, the technology provider is responsible for deploying patches and upgrades to the application transparently. The updates are pre-tested and automatic, so they eliminate the institution‟s need to wait for the IT department to schedule the maintenance work and test the system before it is available to the end users. This is most useful when vendors automatically download patches and provide software bug fixes, often without the institution or the end users having any knowledge of the problem in the first place. With a cloud-delivered application, an institution can remain compliant with the latest software releases and provide its end users with the latest technology without any additional headaches or risk to budgets and solution performance. The demands on education institutions are increasing and changing more rapidly than ever before. As a result, the time to deploy new solutions, particularly those focused on delivering services to students, should be measured in weeks and months rather than years. Since adopting cloud-delivered applications does not require any hardware and software installation on the institution-side, colleges and universities are able to reduce significantly the time between signing a purchase order and realizing value from the solution. Moreover, cloud-delivered solutions offer institutions more flexibility than on-premise ones as they are better positioned to add or remove services as needs change over time. For example, a department may be using a The Future for Lecture Capture Solutions is in the Cloud © Datamonitor (Published 01/2010) Page 6 This report is a licensed product and is not to be photocopied
  7. 7. The Future for Lecture Capture Solutions is in the Cloud lecture capture solution for the math department. As the value of this technology spreads, deploying the solution to the chemistry and sociology courses is often simply a matter of adding users through an online administrative interface providing immediate access to faculty and students rather than waiting for the IT department to install software and hardware. The increased functionality and flexibility that a cloud- delivered application offers, such as faster deployment, ease in configurability, scalability and freedom from maintenance and support, greatly lessens the burden on the institution‟s IT department, allowing staff to focus on innovation and providing training services to the end user rather than worrying about the IT infrastructure and system performance. All on-demand models are not created equal Local. On-premise. On-site. In-house. Off-site. Outsource. Hosted. Managed services. On-demand. SaaS. Cloud computing. These are just some of the common terms used today when describing an IT solution‟s delivery model. Some of these mean the same thing, but most do not. Problems arise, however, when vendors use these various terms interchangeably to define their applications and services, attempting to use the latest catch phrase and make their offerings seem cutting-edge. However, all this has done is to confuse end users already struggling to make sense of the sometimes nuanced differences of each delivery model. In addition, some vendors have incorporated their own interpretations of what a delivery model should be and redefined it completely to best suit their marketing strategy, adding fuel to the fire of complexity. In this section, Datamonitor provides descriptions of the delivery models that will be used throughout this report, hoping to reduce some of the ambiguities and confusion that surround the terminology of alternative delivery models. On-premise versus outsourced and on-demand options On-premise, on-site and in-house all refer to the same delivery model – the traditional situation in which an application is implemented, managed, maintained and supported locally at the institution. In the on-premise model, the institution is responsible for purchasing and managing the infrastructure and hardware where the application and data reside. In addition, the institution purchases the software and licenses, which it owns, and is therefore in charge of supporting the users, implementing customizations and upgrading the system when there are new releases. In many cases, each computing device that will deploy the application must have an installation of the software on it. In the on-premise model, the institution has full control over the infrastructure and hardware, software, data, maintenance, support and services provided to end users. The Future for Lecture Capture Solutions is in the Cloud © Datamonitor (Published 01/2010) Page 7 This report is a licensed product and is not to be photocopied
  8. 8. The Future for Lecture Capture Solutions is in the Cloud A myriad of factors is driving institutions to move away from the on-premise model and consider outsourcing the implementation and on-going maintenance of their applications. There are two primary models in this category: hosted and SaaS or cloud delivery. Unfortunately, institutions and vendors often use these terms interchangeably, even though there are important differences. First, the true meaning of a hosted model is one in which the institution uses the technology provider‟s infrastructure to run the application and store all the information, but must still purchase the software and licenses as it would in the on-premise model. The institution remains responsible for managing the application, while the technology vendor provides maintenance services for the infrastructure. Institutions must pay vendors a hosting fee for the use and management of the infrastructure. In addition to hosting services, many vendors also provide managed services. In this case, the software application is still bought by the institution, but the provider will manage the application in terms of adding new users, installing patches and upgrades and implementing customizations. Therefore, the institution‟s IT group is no longer required to maintain either the hardware or the software for system stability, but will need to provide support to its end users. Typically, most vendors use the term „hosted services‟ when they are referring to a „managed services‟ offering, although a few do differentiate between the two. SaaS or cloud delivery is the latest delivery option, and one that is gaining traction fast. In this model, the software application is delivered as an on-demand service to the end user via the internet. Institutions are not required to purchase any additional hardware, software, licenses or provide any internal IT services, nor is there a need to install and run the application from a local computer. IT personnel are no longer burdened with maintaining and supporting the infrastructure or software or worry about system stability, and are able to better provide training services to end users, increase adoption of the application and think of more innovative methods to use the software. Applications delivered through SaaS are pay-as-you-go, most commonly as a monthly or annual subscription plan, so expenses associated with the software are more predictable. From the infrastructure standpoint, SaaS is delivered through a multi-tenant architecture in which institutions are given a secure instance on a shared server. This allows vendors to better manage and maintain each client‟s application, thus providing enhanced customer service to the institution. This approach enables vendors to manage the long-term development and support of their solutions in far more elegant and efficient manner. The Future for Lecture Capture Solutions is in the Cloud © Datamonitor (Published 01/2010) Page 8 This report is a licensed product and is not to be photocopied
  9. 9. The Future for Lecture Capture Solutions is in the Cloud Lecture capture is well-positioned for on-demand delivery Driven in large part by the demands of a student population addicted to YouTube and the increasing ubiquity of online video, lecture capture solutions are rapidly being adopted by colleges across the US and even internationally. In the next section, Datamonitor will discuss how the benefits of using an on-demand delivery model are especially compelling for lecture capture given its unique characteristics and the ways in which it is used in higher education.  Delivering instruction is no longer confined to the classroom;  Students are taking a more active role in their own learning;  Flexibility and scalability are key to supporting instruction; and  Lecture capture is a rapidly evolving solution area. Delivering instruction is no longer confined to the classroom Faculty members are in constant motion; moving from committee meeting to presenting at conferences, to conducting research in the field to delivering instruction, which makes managing their schedules difficult at best and impossible at worst. Too often, for example, they agonize about whether to cancel a class in order to present a paper at a leading academic conference, even though these types of presentations are central to their own career development and the prestige of the institution. Lecture capture, however, offers faculty the ability to record their lecture in advance of the missed class so that students are able to stay on track with the course. An on- demand or cloud delivery model dramatically increases the power of this capability by offering the ability to record lectures, in advance of the missed class, from wherever and whenever it is most convenient for the professor, making it no longer necessary to be physically on campus or even in the classroom. The best cloud-delivered solutions empower faculty to capture and upload their lectures from their own laptops, using a modest webcam and an internet connection, regardless if they are attending a conference in Orlando or working from their home office in Newton. In the end, an on-demand lecture capture solution allows professors to defy physics by being in two places at once. Students are taking a more active role in their own learning In an era of hyper-connectivity and near real-time access to information, student expectations and preferences for teaching and learning are changing rapidly. While Datamonitor does not anticipate „bricks & mortar‟ lectures to disappear on college The Future for Lecture Capture Solutions is in the Cloud © Datamonitor (Published 01/2010) Page 9 This report is a licensed product and is not to be photocopied
  10. 10. The Future for Lecture Capture Solutions is in the Cloud campuses anytime soon, it does anticipate that students will take a more active role in their own learning by utilizing technology and the experiences of their peers. Collaboration will become an increasingly key component of the classroom, virtual or „bricks and mortar‟, and influence how students create and develop their own knowledge and skills. As a result, the tools that are used to complete group projects are likely to expand and include new technologies such as lecture capture. There is considerable value, for example, in allowing groups of students in a contracts negotiation class to record their simulated negotiations and make them available to others in the course. This approach not only offers the professor better insight into the performance of the different teams and contribution of individual students, but the unique opportunity to engage students in a discussion about the recorded negotiations either in class or online. Yet, without a cloud delivery model, enabling students to access the recording capabilities of a lecture capture solution would require navigating a myriad of logistical hurdles, such as scheduling classroom space during the evenings and weekends or installing software on student-owned laptops. Few institutions have the necessary resources to clear these „hurdles‟ easily and thus, are unlikely to extend lecture capture access to students. Therefore, Datamonitor believes that cloud delivery enables institutions to realize added instructional and student-learning value from investments in lecture capture. Flexibility and scalability are key to supporting instruction The expansion of lecture capture across a college or university often grows rapidly, driven through the success of individual departments spreading through word of mouth. Faculty will find news of colleagues in another department improving student outcomes to be a powerful motivator for adopting lecture capture, particularly as the solution provides demonstrable and easy to understand value without significant behavioral change on their part. Consequently, many institutions find that shortly after purchasing a lecture capture solution, faculty demand outpaces their ability to install the necessary software and audiovisual equipment in classrooms. Further exacerbating this challenge is that even when they are able to equip enough classrooms, IT and AV departments struggle to secure and maintain these devices after installing them across campus. A cloud delivered lecture capture solution, however, sidesteps many of these issues by enabling the faculty to record lectures with only their laptops and a few inexpensive peripherals that can be purchased from any office supply store. Furthermore, as demand for access to the solution inevitably grows, institutions can increase the number of courses with lecture capture capabilities with a click of a mouse rather than with the generation of a work order to physical plant. When resources are scarce and institutional IT budgets are flat or even decreasing, the ability to make the implementation and on-going maintenance of The Future for Lecture Capture Solutions is in the Cloud © Datamonitor (Published 01/2010) Page 10 This report is a licensed product and is not to be photocopied
  11. 11. The Future for Lecture Capture Solutions is in the Cloud any solution more efficient through a cloud delivery-model provides considerable institutional value. Lecture capture is a rapidly evolving solution area Lecture capture is a relatively new and emerging solution area, particularly in comparison to old institutional stalwarts such as student information systems (SIS) or even learning management solutions (LMS). Consequently, lecture capture vendors are adding new capabilities and functionality on a far more regular basis than those supporting other solution categories. In no way is this suggesting that SIS or LMS vendors are not evolving their solutions, but the changes are likely to be more incremental than those for lecture capture. Additionally, as lecture capture draws from many of the technologies used in the rapidly changing digital media industry, the propensity to introduce new and innovative functionality, such as advanced search, is even higher for this solution area. Unfortunately, as the demands on IT departments already far exceed existing resources of most institutions keeping up to date with the releases of new software versions is an ongoing challenge. Consequently, providing faculty and students with the most up-to-date version of a rapidly evolving lecture capture solution is an uphill battle. As the vendor is responsible upgrading the solution, a cloud delivery-model for lecture capture significantly reduces the burden of managing the process for institutions and increases access for faculty and students to more innovative capabilities. The Future for Lecture Capture Solutions is in the Cloud © Datamonitor (Published 01/2010) Page 11 This report is a licensed product and is not to be photocopied
  12. 12. The Future for Lecture Capture Solutions is in the Cloud Putting the cloud into action: Next steps for institutions Investing in a lecture capture solution provides important educational value to students by providing them with powerful tools and needed flexibility to improve their academic performance. Utilizing an on-demand or cloud delivery model to support lecture capture solutions will greatly enhance this value for not only students but institutions as well. Yet, there is often considerable distance between identifying the potential value from implementation a technology solution and realizing actual value from it. Consequently, Datamonitor recommends that institutions make the following considerations when selecting a lecture capture solutions:  Discriminate between a simply hosted and a true cloud delivery;  Ensure the future value of your IT investments; and  Partner with vendors that balance innovation with usability. Discriminate between a simply hosted and a true cloud delivery Terms such as on-demand, hosted and SaaS and cloud are used indiscriminately in the higher education market. While each of these terms shares the characteristic that they are not an on-premise delivery model for software applications, the similarities end largely there. As noted earlier in this paper, there are substantive differences between true cloud delivery model and a hosted one in terms of how the software is delivered and maintained. These differences affect the extent to which institutions will be able to realize long-term value from their lecture capture solutions. Even though all cloud delivered applications are purchased through a subscription model, purchasing a solution on a subscription basis is not a guarantee that it will be delivered through a true cloud model. Consequently, Datamonitor strongly advises colleges and universities to do their „due diligence‟ with vendors to ensure that the solution they are buying is truly delivered through a cloud model and not simply a hosted one. Ensure the future value of your IT investments As institutional IT budgets come under heightened scrutiny, demonstrating the long- term value of any investment and having clearly visibility into its total cost of ownership (TCO) will be increasingly important. Now more than ever, few institutions have the fiscal tolerance for replacing solutions that fail to keep pace with their changing needs or continuing to support those whose cost of ongoing maintenance is unpredictable or growing too rapidly. Datamonitor, therefore, encourages institutions The Future for Lecture Capture Solutions is in the Cloud © Datamonitor (Published 01/2010) Page 12 This report is a licensed product and is not to be photocopied
  13. 13. The Future for Lecture Capture Solutions is in the Cloud to safeguard the future value of their IT investments by considering the adoption of cloud delivery model. Utilizing this model to deliver lecture capture solutions allows a college or university to start small with its implementation without worrying about the long-term capacity to expand usage or to have visibility into the cost of supporting that expansion and avoid any unwanted budgetary surprises. Moreover, cloud delivery diminishes many of the hurdles associated with upgrading to new software versions and accessing more innovative features and functionality. In the end, cloud computing offers higher education a valuable “insurance policy” on existing and future IT investments. Partner with vendors that balance innovation with usability Institutions should seek out vendors that recognizing the importance of not compromising usability for the sake of technical innovation. It is akin to the old debate around a tree falling in the woods that no one hears: if a solution has the most groundbreaking technology, but no one is able to use it, does it provide any value? Datamonitor has found that the best vendors believe the answer to this question is no and will often make significant investments in conducting end-user acceptance testing and using customer advisory boards to drive or influence product development in order to ensure that their solutions provide real and immediate value to their customers. As lecture capture solutions are evolving rapidly and liable to draw from more advanced technology in the media and consumer markets, it is particularly important for institutions to partner with vendors that balance innovation with usability. Choosing the right partner means that adopting a cutting-edge solutions doesn‟t result in the faculty and staff cutting their teeth on its implementation. The Future for Lecture Capture Solutions is in the Cloud © Datamonitor (Published 01/2010) Page 13 This report is a licensed product and is not to be photocopied
  14. 14. The Future for Lecture Capture Solutions is in the Cloud APPENDIX Abbreviations CMS – Course Management System LMS – Learning Management System SaaS – Software-as-a-Service SIS – Student Information System TCO – Total Cost of Ownership Ask the analyst Nicole Engelbert Practice Leader, Technology Industries Ovum E: The Future for Lecture Capture Solutions is in the Cloud © Datamonitor (Published 01/2010) Page 14 This report is a licensed product and is not to be photocopied