Today’s higher education institutions are facing a multitude of challenges around data analysis, security, and increasingly hybrid architectures. The issue of how to balance ongoing security challenges while connecting cloud and on-premises applications is common across institutions. These challenges may lead many organizations to develop an integration strategy to help in the alignment of these increasingly complex architectures. However, limiting the focus to only integrations can become overly technically focused. Instead of developing an integration strategy, institutions should instead take a holistic approach to data sharing and develop an information strategy.
As information is a valuable asset for organizations and is a treasured resource that powers the digital economy; those who possess the right information can succeed, while those who do not, struggle to survive. An information strategy empowers an institution to drive both application-to-application integration investments and standards but engage business in data governance, consumption, and usage.
Many institutions limit their focus to developing an integration strategy centered around application-to-application data movement. The focus is directed at individual LOB systems and achieving movement of data between systems. This approach lacks a true vision of a data lifecycle and enterprise data movement.
Without a foundation rooted in the business objectives, the ultimate strategy and solution run the risk of becoming overly focused on a tool or technology.
This type of strategic planning lacks focus on the overarching needs of the business and ultimately the institutional goals. Without a foundation rooted in the business objectives, the ultimate strategy and solution run the risk of becoming overly focused on a tool or technology.
Institutions can avoid this pitfall by starting the process by performing a capability assessment. This effort is comprised of four steps which can help ensure that the roadmap and strategy an institution develops are rooted in providing overall business value and will support the institutional strategic goals and objectives.
Engage with business and technology stakeholders to review the institution’s strategic plan, along with an outline of individual business goals and objectives.
Engage business stakeholders and their technical support teams to define the organization’s future capability needs. These are documented, prioritized, and assessed. The key to this effort is to understand the integration scenarios, patterns, roles, and information domains needed to complete the business objectives.
Engage functional and technical support teams to document current integrations and capabilities. Outline what scenarios, patterns, user roles, information domains, technologies, and frequencies are currently utilized across the main areas of the institution. In addition, it is helpful to document current governance strategies, pain points, and inefficiencies found in the current capabilities.
Perform a gap analysis of the future demands versus the current capabilities with a particular review of prioritized business drivers, pain points, and inefficiencies.
At a key juncture where many institutions are targeting more diverse populations of students while dealing with smaller budgets, our innovation and creativity – coupled with core technology expertise – offers unique and cost-effective solutions finely tuned for Higher Education institutions.