Creation and storage of records in the cloud by Zimbabwe Open University
This study investigated the challenges and prospects of creating and storing records in the cloud by Zimbabwe Open University in Zimbabwe. Like other universities in Zimbabwe, the university adopted Education 5.0 advocated by the government in 2019. Consequently, the university came up with innovation hubs and industrial parks that became centres for records creation. Keeping all records in the computer without appropriate backups and servers has consequences such as losing vital records. Organisations around the world use cloud computing increasingly to address records storage and disposal. Adoption of cloud computing services carries with it cost implications, and legal and ownership challenges as the virtualised environments are hosted and managed by third parties. The objective of this study was to examine the management, operational, legal and technical issues surrounding the storage of records in the cloud, and the implications for their trustworthiness and authenticity. The study adopted a qualitative research design and drew data from interviews with key participants. Qualitative data were organised into broad themes and the content reported in narrative form. The study found that Zimbabwe Open University is not using cloud computing services effectively and is in the trial phase of cloud computing. It further found that there was a lack of collaboration between the information and communication technology and the records management units as the university decided to move to the cloud on a full-scale basis. The study recommends that the university should first address the management, operational, legal and technical issues surrounding the storage of records in the cloud before implementing the complete use of the cloud. The study deepens the understanding of cloud computing in the management of records at the university, and other state universities in Zimbabwe can use this study to deal with the management of records in the cloud.