Green, K. (2011) Campus Computing 2011: Big Gains in Going Mobile Campus Computing Project, October 20

The preliminary results for the 2011Campus Computing Project survey shows big gains in campuses going mobile but a much slower development in cloud computing, and continuing churn in the LMS market.

Mobile learning

  • More than half (55%) of public universities have activated mobile apps as of fall 2011 (41% for community colleges).

“Colleges and universities are playing catch-up with the consumer experience.  Students come to campus expecting to use mobile apps on their smartphones and tablets to navigate campus resources and use campus services.  Also important is that compared to a year ago, more firms – both LMS and ERP providers – now offer mobile options for their campus clients.”  Green adds that some technology providers now offer free mobile apps, which means that the options for and cost of going mobile have changed dramatically in the past year.

Cloud computing

  • 28% of the survey participants report that they have moved or are migrating their LMS application to Cloud Computing; only 4% have moved their ERP systems to the cloud.

The major ERP providers have been slow to offer Cloud Services to their campus clients,” says Green   Although the cost savings may seem compelling, “trust really is the coin of the realm: many campus IT officers are not ready to migrate mission-critical data, resources, and services to the Cloud Services offered by their IT providers.”

Learning management systems

  • Blackboard’s share of the market (including Angel and WebCT) fell to 50.6 percent of institutions in 2011, compared to 57.1 percent last year and down from 71.0 percent in fall 2006.  Concurrently, Blackboard’s major LMS competitors – Desire2Learn, Moodle, and Sakai – have all gained share during this period.   Additionally, several new LMS providers, including Epsilen, Instructure, and Loudcloud, among others, are generating significant interest and beginning to sign some interesting campus clients.

The campus LMS market remains a textbook example of a mature market with immature, or evolving, technologies, and that’s a prescription for a volatile market,” says Green.   “Blackboard’s plans to retire legacy LMS products have been a catalyst for many institutions to review the campus LMS strategy and to evaluate other LMS applications.”

e-Books and digital content

  • 90% of the survey participants agree or strongly agree that “eBook content will be an important source for instructional resources in five years.” Additionally, 82% agree/strongly agree that “eBook readers (hardware) will be important platforms for instructional content in five years”.

The platform options, market opportunities, and enabling technologies for eBooks continue to improve,”  says Green.  But he notes that for most students, eBooks and eTextbooks do not yet offer a competitive alternative to used textbooks.

The sample

The 2011 Campus Computing Survey is based on survey data provided by senior campus IT officials, typically, the CIO, CTO, or other senior campus IT officer, representing 496 two- and four-year public and private/non-profit colleges and universities across the United States. Survey respondents completed the online questionnaire from September 16 through October 13.

The full version

Copies of the 2011 Campus Computing Survey will be available on December 10th from The Campus Computing Project in Encino, CA (  Price: $42, which includes shipping to US addresses.


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