Integrations and Partnerships

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Each year the Enterprise IT Program selects a lens through which to view several enterprise IT challenges. In 2016 we looked at the impact the cloud is having on institutions, from the need to develop more flexible sourcing strategies, to the impact of cloud services on IT budgets, to the opportunity created by cloud migrations for communication between IT and the rest of the campus.

In 2017 we turn our attention to issues related to integrations and partnerships. Integrations can be viewed from more than one level, and we’ll examine several of them. We’ll look at the need for data integrations across the increasing variety and complexity of enterprise IT systems. We’ll consider the integration of data governance with institutional mission and goals. And we’ll examine the ways that IT integrates with the rest of the institution through partnerships, looking at partnerships within the institution as well as with service providers and collaborative consortia.

Over the course of the year we’ll apply the concept of integrations and partnerships to the four themes of the Enterprise IT Program-costs and value, sourcing strategies, business process management, and analytics-to better understand the challenges and opportunities of integrations and partnerships for enterprise IT and for our institutions.

Costs and value of enterprise IT will address the challenge of how to talk about the value of enterprise IT as well as its cost and how to communicate across the enterprise in a way that helps campus leaders understand IT’s value. We’ll consider ways to articulate operations and projects in the context of business value, the importance of IT governance as a vehicle for articulating value and establishing priorities, and how to connect value with the “run, grow, transform” lens.

Resourcing related to sourcing strategies will focus on the challenge of integrating data and systems as we move into the next generation of enterprise IT. The EDUCAUSE 2017 Top 10 IT Issues lists next-gen enterprise IT as issue #9, with the definition of “developing and implementing enterprise IT applications, architectures, and sourcing strategies to achieve agility, scalability, cost effectiveness, and effective analytics.” It’s likely that the next generation of enterprise IT will bring with it a strong need for better integration of data. We’ll consider the benefits and timeliness of investing in integration-as-a-platform as a way to manage that work. We’ll continue to focus on the importance of communicating with constituents about enterprise IT, and about partnering with constituents and stakeholders in sourcing strategies and selection. We’ll bring some corporate voice to this work as well, getting some insight from industry about navigating the next-gen enterprise IT world.

Business process management will address the challenge of finding and acting on best practices for bringing people and processes together in a way that increases both the efficiency of enterprise systems and the value they provide to the institution. Resources will consider how the issue of data integration relates to the integration of end-to-end processes. We’ll look at how business process management can help optimize business processes, and we’ll continue to focus on the importance of communication across the institution.

Finally, we’ll consider analytics and business intelligence, focusing on how data integrations affect analytics initiatives. We’ll look at data governance in connection with integration needs, including data privacy and ownership, data definitions, and data integrity. We’ll consider the role of an integration platform in promoting business analytics. And we’ll continue our spotlight on cross-enterprise communication.

Using the lens of integrations and partnerships, the Enterprise IT Program will provide new resources in the form of case studies, blogs, and working group reports that help institutions understand and manage the challenges and opportunities of the program’s themes. In addition, the program’s web pages will provide links to a curated selection of relevant existing materials from the EDUCAUSE library, EDUCAUSE program areas, and our partner associations such as NACUBO.

If you have a story to tell about your own institution’s work in the area of integrations and partnerships, or if you have suggestions or questions about the program, please contact Betsy Tippens Reinitz at [email protected].

Betsy Tippens Reinitz is the director of the Enterprise IT Program for EDUCAUSE.

© 2017 Betsy Tippens Reinitz. This EDUCAUSE Review blog is licensed under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0.