2.9.3 How is Enterprise Architecture used in HE?

We found that those universities that have invested in Enterprise Architecture are confident that they are realising enormous benefits. The flexible application of Enterprise Architecture enables a university to target the scope and objectives of their Enterprise Architecture initiatives to align with strategic priorities and we found its use reflected this with top down use for enterprise, and bottom up use for defined areas within an HEI or the specific business systems being addressed.

Some examples include:

  1. An institution is using Enterprise Architecture, to support transformational change by their institutional rebranding and using on-line courses to change the provisions for teaching and learning and attract new student groups. Enterprise Architecture was used to identify and communicate the current and future requirements and model the changes required
  2. Another institution is using Enterprise Architecture to support major review of ICT provisions with the objectives of:
    • aligning the business strategy and ICT provision
    • increasing institutional efficiency through less waste and duplication of data
    • documenting and providing transparency for the IT landscape
    • increasing the institutional agility whilst reducing costs
    • preparing for a Service Oriented Approach (soa)
  3. A heavily de-centralised and federated university has achieved improved data management, efficiency and cost savings within research by identifying common services and architectures to support research, introducing automation and provide integration with teaching and administration. The institution used a bottom-up approach using Enterprise Architecture in the context of producing a virtual research environment

Other universities have achieved significant business process improvements by using Enterprise Architecture to identify current processes, model alternatives and allow improved assessment of new solutions:

  1. A more centralised post 92 university implemented a case management solution to provide student services for complaints, welfare, disabilities and grievance management replacing multiple solutions and reducing the duplication of processes. By taking an Enterprise Architecture approach the institution was able to demonstrate that a single technical system could deliver a number of different services, avoiding unnecessary investment in multiple technical solutions and service complexity
  2. An external examiner appointment system has been implemented to replace multiple faculty solutions improving the use of resources and reducing duplication of processes and data