University of Newcastle’s cloud-first success improves work and learning experience for thousands during COVID-19 isolation

Monday, 20 July 2020

The University of Newcastle has become the first University in Australia to migrate its digital data to the cloud in what represents a significant milestone to improve services and boost cybersecurity for students and staff.

The university transitioned from a physical data centre to the cloud to be more environmentally sustainable, improve cybersecurity, enhance its technology responsiveness, and improve the digital experience for students and staff.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Alex Zelinsky congratulated the team on the achievement.

“We’re thrilled to be the first university in Australia to make this move to the cloud – this is a massive achievement and will mean we’re at the cutting edge of cloud technology,” Professor Zelinsky said.

The University’s Chief Information Officer, Anthony Molinia reflected on the project and the drivers behind the decision.

“A modern university needs to be agile, and one of the core advantages of a cloud-first digital platform is the capacity to respond and implement solutions quickly,” he said.

“With a cloud platform, infrastructure solutions and tools such as secure data storage - that would normally be procured over several weeks - can be provisioned within minutes. This will place the University at an enormous advantage throughout the year.

“We have already been able to leverage the benefits of the scalability and flexibility of cloud at the most critical time in recent digital history. 2020 has become the year of disruption and our early adoption of cloud-based services, communication and collaboration channels was key to the University’s successful pivot to remote learning and working in response to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Mr Molinia.

The migration overall performed ahead of market expectation. All applications and data targeted for migration to the cloud were moved in just over nine months, instead of 18 months. This has positioned the University of Newcastle as sector leaders in cloud-based technology.

“We are delighted to be the first Australian university to achieve this milestone. It is an important step in our digital transformation.

“Importantly, there is a wealth of opportunity still to come from our cloud-first solution. In particular, our researchers and academics can expect to experience better access to resources across multiple platforms and perform faster testing and analysis of research.”

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