As universities have evolved to keep pace with the “Information Revolution”, their technology stack has quadrupled, and technology debt has increased. It has led to creation of ‘application silos’ with no visibility of information outside it. Universities started with Mainframes and Midframes to satisfy their early technological needs and now increasingly use the Web and Cloud Data Applications. It is becoming complex and laborious for their IT Departments to keep all the different technological stacks integrated together so that correct decisions and analytics can be derived out of them.
Many universities have embarked on ambitious Information Technology programs to retire their IT Debt and embrace new cloud technologies and cloud applications. As the technology stack evolves – universities have a need to integrate these different platforms on the cloud (Salesforce, Workday, ServiceNow, etc.) and on-premise (legacy mainframes and midframes, existing enterprise data warehouses, etc.).
A Typical Technology Stack
Higher Education Organizations now have a varied menu of cloud-based and ground-based applications to enable them to carry out their day-to-day operations and administration. For example, an University may use WorkDay for their HR processes, ServiceNow for their task processing and managing Operations workflows and Salesforce for their Student Admissions process and portals; whilst still having on premises Oracle Data Warehouses and maintaining legacy Mainframes as a System of Record. Figures 1 and 2 below show a typical technology stack that an University may have today.
Fig. 1 Cloud Applications
Fig. 2 Databases, Data Warehouses and Other Applications