Headlong into the fourth industrial revolution: Cloud computing and Korean universities
Korea University hosts University Cloud Computing Day
Korea University hosted University Cloud Computing Day on Monday, May 14 from 1:30 pm to 5:30 pm, inviting various Korean universities that are preparing to adopt cloud computing. The event was organized to provide an opportunity to learn more about cloud computing for university institutions because it has become a key driver of the global Fourth Industrial Revolution.
Cloud computing is a form of Internet-based computing in which information is stored, managed, and processed on another remote computer connected to the Internet rather than on the user’s computer. Currently, more than 1,500 leading educational institutions such as Cornell University, Carnegie Mellon University, Kyushu University, Seoul National University, and Sogang University are actively using the technology.
On University Cloud Computing Day, members of the Korea Association of University Information and Computer, representatives from the information and communications departments of major universities, computer administrators and developers from universities in Korea, and Korea University students and faculty members all attended, filling the seats of the Global Conference Hall in the Centennial memorial Building. Vincent Qusah, Vice-President of Asia-Pacific Education at Amazon Web Services (AWS), AWS director, Jae Min Chun, Professor Swaine Chen of Singapore University, and AWS security compliance manager Shin Jong Huae also attended the meeting to introduce trends in cloud computing and to present case studies and considerations for universities.
Vincent Qusah brought up three current issues in regards to information technology (IT): (1) the average survival time of SMP companies is falling, (2) most corporate investment costs go to the maintenance of existing infrastructure rather than the development of new infrastructure, and (3) there is constant anxiety to become a transforming company in an age of digital fluctuation. According to the lecturer, these problems are also a challenge faced by universities and it is now necessary to address the limited resources and rapid social change in many universities. Mr. Qusah stressed that cloud computing is becoming the “new norm” and explained how this new technology can be a solution to the problem of digital resource depletion.
According to Mr. Chun’s lecture, cloud computing has several advantages, including reduced operating costs, resilient operation and expansion, speed and agility, and global expansion. It is also one of the most important technologies in the era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, which is likely to be further developed by various platforms, including AWS, in the future.
Professor Chen is a professor of Bacterial Genetics and Genomics who has published a case study on cloud computing research at the University of Singapore on the theme of “Research on Cloud.” The presentation, which began with the question, "What is genome research?”, introduced examples of how new technologies in cloud computing could be used effectively in specific areas such as genomics research or disease control. In an example from 2017, he explained how cloud computing was used to handle vast amounts of information such as the nationwide spread of bacteria and the storage of carrier data during the outbreak of the Zika virus in Singapore. He also emphasized how cloud computing has value as an alternative to computer theories that were once considered revolutionary in the past, such as Hyper-Moore’s Law, but which are starting to show their limitations.
The President of Korea University, Jaeho Yeom said, “As the knowledge society in the 21st century began to take off, universities faced unprecedented change that had never been experienced before. The universities that were founded in an industrial society were considered the monopolistic center of knowledge production and the hub of knowledge circulation. However, today, we are evolving into a system in which large amounts of information are merged and fused in the Internet space with the public themselves verifying the information and dictating its direction. In other words, cyber space seems to have completely taken the initiative.” In pleading for help to allow our universities to move forward by way of discussion and debate, KU President Yeom said, "In the future, a university must become a diverse platform, an open platform where newly admitted students can take on any challenge, and an analytical platform that enables users to make decisions about the direction of their future by analyzing relevant data and information in real time while designing and experiencing the curriculum that they want. It should be an experience platform that meets and interacts with cultures of the same or different interests and a platform of global knowledge fusion in which the world’s research knowledge and culture can be experienced. Considering where we are now, in dreaming about the future for our university, what we need is cutting-edge information and communication infrastructure.”
Korea University Vice President for Information Technology and Services Lee Kyung Ho commented on the significance of the event by saying, “I hope that this will be a meaningful time to help establish cloud adoption plans by sharing practical examples such as case studies on cloud usage in education and research within the top 100 universities worldwide and potential methods to overcome domestic cloud security regulations.”