The impact of cloud computing on the role of an IT department : a case study of a higher education institution in the Western Cape
Information and communication technologies are moving fast. Consequently, organisations must be aware of this evolution and adapt to take full advantage of the benefits offered by these technologies. Cloud computing is a new concept of accessing data centers and various computing resources via the internet through any devices and from anywhere. Large organizations, such as Higher Education Institutions (HEI), are gradually adopting cloud computing to reduce their very high budgets. In emerging countries, more and more HEIs are adopting the services offered by cloud computing, more precisely in South Africa in the Western Cape. However, cloud computing affects the way IT services are delivered by traditional HEI IT departments. Thus the objective of this study is to explore the impact of cloud computing on the role of the IT department of HEIs, using a case study. To fulfil this objective, interviews were conducted within the IT department of an HEI, including the IT staff, and it was found that cloud computing affects the role of the IT department by changing the roles and responsibilities of some IT staff, as well as the focus of certain posts in the department. In addition, cloud computing also affects the department's culture. Fortunately, no IT staff have lost their posts. Other results show that training and certification were necessary for the IT to adapt to the changes. Cloud computing adds value to the IT department because it offers a daily 24-hour service as opposed to the traditional IT department.