Solution Brief

The Transformation of Central IT in Higher Education

The Challenge

With the widespread adoption of cloud computing in higher education, colleges and universities have departments making cloud-based decisions independently of one another.

As a result, hybrid cloud and multi-cloud environments are becoming the norm. The challenges become how can management of these environments be centralized, and how can Central IT transform the way they work with the entire campus community, in order to be involved in these decisions.

The Transformation of Central IT

Central IT is regaining control by assuming the role of a cloud service broker (CSB). This transformation is not a simple task, and may require IT staff to learn new skills and leverage new tool sets. A critical component of the higher ed CSB role is partnering with the various departments and groups to coordinate a shared cloud strategy. Once established, Central IT can offer cloud services and infrastructure to the student body, faculty, research departments, and administrators, and ultimately manage the institution’s hybrid or multi-cloud environment. According to Gartner, the key to success for this model is to drive cost transparency and accountability.1

How CloudHealth Can Help

The CloudHealth cloud management platform provides business intelligence across hybrid cloud and multi-cloud environments. Leading public cloud providers like Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform, and Microsoft Azure are supported within the platform, as well as support for on-premises environments. With CloudHealth, Central IT can:

  • Drive accountability with visibility into departmental usage. Within the platform, assets can be categorized into dynamic business groupings known as Perspectives. For example, many colleges and universities build Perspectives like Environments, Departments, and Projects. View data by these Perspectives, and use the insights to hold key stakeholders accountable.
  • Gain financial transparency. CloudHealth reports include historical, current, and forecasted spend, and provide budget tracking. The platform enables users to fully understand cloud spend and perform showback and/or chargeback.
  • Eliminate waste and optimize cloud infrastructure. Identify assets that are underutilized and reduce spend in the cloud. Pinpoint opportunities for improvement across cost, usage, performance, and security.
  • Centralize cloud governance. CloudHealth enables users to simplify daily cloud operations by implementing policies to proactively alert users and take actions related to cost spikes, tagging compliance issues, security vulnerabilities and more.
  • Provide scoped access to users. CloudHealth Organizations restrict the data available to users within an institution based on accounts. Additionally, Central IT can assign roles to users, further refining access to certain pockets of data.

1Gartner Cloud Computing Primer for 2018, David Mitchell Smith, 16 January 2018