Cloud computing is considered as a new I.T technology developed to process the users and organization activities,Today education is a key factor in ensuring economic growth, especially for countries with growing economies. Globally, students have become more technologically inclined as teaching and learning uses more advance technology day in, day out. Due to virtualized resources through the Internet, as well as dynamic scalability, cloud computing has continued to be adopted by tertiary institutions. This research work is aimed at developing a cloud computing technology and its adoption in the University of Port Harcourt.The proposed system Adopted Rapid Application development methodology (RAD) and will be implementation using PHP, HTML5, Java Script for the user interface design and MYSQL database for data storage. The result of the findings revealed that the adoption of cloud computing has a significant impact on cost effectiveness, enhanced availability, low environmental impact and reduced investment in physical asset in the university of port Harcourt. However, the challenges confronting the adoption of cloud computing in institutions is evaluated and concludes by recommending strategies to manage the identified challenges in the study area, which will be of great significance to the academic planning of the University of Port Harcourt.
1.1Background to the Study
Cloud computing is apowerful enabling tool for educational change and reform by introducing a new methods of teaching and conducting research as well as provisioning of educational facilities for online learning, teaching and research collaboration. The great flexibility offered by cloud computing strongly facilitates the acquisition and use of available knowledge to expand access to education, strengthen the quality of education and improve the quality of the classroom teaching-learning processes via access to electronic teaching and learning, research, training and development resources on the global collaborative network of internetworks and use of ICT tools in education.
Mehmet, F. E. (2011) stressed that cloud computing is a versatile tool for running a smooth and efficient university system, giving support in areas such as lecture delivery, private studies, information disseminations, program (conferences and seminars) planning and execution, communication at different levels, crisis prevention and management.
The adoption of cloud computing and deployment in the university of port Harcourt has recently increased work efficiency and in due course turning the university to IT oriented institution among their competitors, which has also led to the establishment of Distance and e-learning center within the university Business school which is yet under review.
As much as the adoption of cloud computing in education becomes imperative, cost of owning of the required ICT infrastructures, licensing, standards requirement, cost of maintenance, electrical power supply and physical security of these facilities come at a great financial expense. Gerald, w. (2001) stressed that availability and accessibility to cloud computing infrastructures and services by staff and students in Universities in most developing economies are limited or non-existent.
There is a great deal of debate about what cloud computing is or is not. Hayes, B. (2008) defined “cloud computing as a kind of computing which is highly scalable and use virtualized resources that can be shared by the users”. Users do not need any background knowledge of the services before using it. Moreover, a user on the internet can communicate with many servers at the same time and these servers exchange information with one another. Basically, data and adoption in the cloud are available through the internet it can also be accessed from everywhere and from any device with internet connectivity.
Stroh, K.U. (2009) defined cloud computing as “the computing software and services that can be accessed via the internet rather than residing on a desktop or internal server.” Gartner, T. (2012) defined cloud computing as “a style of computing in which massively scalable and elastic IT-enabled capabilities are delivered as a service to external customers using internet technologies”.
Today, the word cloud computing is an essential terminology in the IT world and has been applied in different sectors including the educational sector. Cloud computing can be defined as the use of virtual resources that are highly scalable and can be shared by different and diverse users. Cloud computing was driven by the increased use of electronic devices including laptops, smart phones and tablet PCs. Current studies have indicated that this is among the fastest growing areas within the digital economy.
Cloud computing can be termed as providing information technology resources when demanded through the Internet. Cloud computing is of various forms including public cloud, private cloud, as well as the option of cloud as a service. The emergence of cloud computing models has provided enormous and versatile amount of resources that are scalable in nature depending on the needs of business in addition to serving large interests for potential, as well as immediate returns on the investments. By incorporating cloud computing in the IT strategy, institutions are able to increase their overall capacity while at the same time maintaining the required security level and limited infrastructural investment, hence ensuring that the total cost of ownership is low. Thus, it is of essence that educational institutions to get better ways to provide inexpensive services of good quality using academic tools and research practices by striking a balance between cloud-based services.