The University of Lübeck in Germany built a cloud-based e-campus for 24,000 students and 53,000 staff members during 2012, a move which has inspired other universities across the world to build their own digital campuses and try out new information technological developments, as well.
These digital campuses aim to improve the quality and accessibility of educational resources, expand the geographic scope of universities, and increase the number of services the institution offers. However, as much as they are initially geared to contribute positively, challenges cropped up over time.
Lübeck Goes Digital
Lübeck is a public university that specializes in medicine, science, technology and natural sciences, and also has a teaching hospital. Its concept of e-campus placed increasing demands on its technology infrastructure and had to make a choice—expand the infrastructure or migrate to a new platform.
Holding out hope to improve education quality, management efficiency, and access to scientific research resources, Lübeck chose the latter. The university decided to migrate the existing storage infrastructure to a new platform. Their digital campus now includes an eLibrary, forum, online storage, and file sharing.
The Challenge of Online Activity
E-campuses created new challenges for organizations. Universities with tens of thousands of students or more generate a nearly unmatched amount of communication and information, and they are struggling to keep up with large volumes of digital activity in a cost-effective manner.
Lübeck’s e-campus had to be easy to increase in size to suit future needs and serve the needs of an institution that also treats medical patients. But science and technology is fast to adapt and Lübeck claimed they are, “optimally positioned with regard to future growth of the storage system.”
Speed and Science
Since its inauguration, Lübeck’s e-campus has grown in speed, stability, and reliability. Their digital campus has been delivering more campus applications and services faster to teachers and students. In fact, it has been running 24/7 since its deployment.
Other universities expressed concerned about the speed and the smoothness of the transition, should they go with the trend. To remain competitive, universities have to shift their channels and acknowledge that cloud computing, big data, mobility and socialization is the new face of education.
IT architecture is evolving with the hopes of addressing future needs and challenges. Adopting future-oriented strategies today can increase an institution’s scalability, cost-efficiency, reliability and performance both immediately and in the years that will come.