Exostructure Strategy

Phase
Technology Trigger
UMN Assessment
Lagging
Time Frame
5 to 10 Years
Last Updated on Sep 26, 2014

Exostructure refers to the matrix of external, cloud-based service providers that are increasingly powering educational information technology. The term also includes interconnection methods or protocols these service use to connect with their clients (higher education) or peer services.  An exostructure strategy implies both the careful selection of this immediate external cloud of services, but further trying to integrate them by encouraging and utilizing open standards for their interconnection.

The advantage of using external cloud based services derives from their not being part of the campus infrastructure that must be maintained locally. This comes with the disadvantage that many of these web services have a siloed approach and limited customizability or flexibility. A good exostructure strategy would promote the services that provide a higher level of interoperability and customizability with each other as well as the internal campus ecosystem.