The challenges of managing information technology are weighing ever more heavily on in-house IT departments across all sectors. Coupled with the economic difficulties of the last couple years, these challenges are pushing IT in some profoundly new directions, according to research firm Gartner, which said the result is a notable swing toward cloud-based services that's expected to fuel unprecedented growth in cloud computing over the next several years.
Organizations should start experimenting with Web apps from Google, Microsoft and other software companies.
Open-source middleware maker WSO2 has launched an open source cloud platform that should be of interest to enterprise Java developers. Called Stratos, it's a fully hosted application platform-as-a-service (PaaS) for building and deploying apps and services "with instant provisioning of enterprise servers, including the portal, enterprise service bus (ESB) and application server."
- By John K. Waters
Ed tech company it's learning is adding Microsoft Office Web Apps and Outlook Live to its electronic learning platform.
Although more than 95 percent of organizations expect to maintain or grow their use of software as a service (SaaS), 30 percent of enterprises using SaaS have renegotiated their terms before the end of the initial contract period.
- By Denise Harrison
Microsoft and ePals are partnering to expand the collaboration and communications tools available to educators and students through the ePals Global Community, an educational networking platform.
Google has updated its codebase, adding features to its Google Docs online suite of applications that make them richer and more collaborative.
Cloud computing and gaming are among the six technologies that will have a major positive impact on K-12 education in the next few years, according to researchers. But education also faces some critical challenges in that timeframe, including challenges that may require fundamental changes to the way we educate in the United States.
Although Google Apps Education Edition has proved a boon for many districts, some have expressed concern about the security aspects of the free service. One UK school has found a way to address login vulnerabilities with the use of another free service.
- By Dian Schaffhauser
Citrix has released versions of its GoToMeeting and Receiver applications for iPad. Both are available now at no charge.