Flinders Uni builds real-time data system on a three-cloud solution – Strategy – Projects – Cloud – Security – Software

Source: Flinders University

Before jumping into his 2025 agenda, Flinders University CIO Kerrie Campbell used to tell the university’s business units that yes, they could have the information they wanted, it wouldn’t take than 12 months to process.

The blockage was the result of data held in on-premises Oracle data warehouses coupled with aging systems – including a six-year-old customer relationship management (CRM) system that was built in-house – Campbell said. iTnews.

So when the university decided to become an institution internationally recognized for its research, teaching and commitment by 2025, the IT overhaul received the green light.

The first step in the transformation to three clouds was to move students and staff to Office 365, Campbell said.

“And then the second element of that was to go to Dynamics 365 and integrate it into our CRM and our student services.

“We’ve found this to be more valuable for other parts organizations who are really looking to streamline this CRM and use it more effectively across the organization. “

The third and final leg of the journey moved to Microsoft Azure for the university’s new data ecosystem, she said, including Power BI and a dedicated BI team providing near real-time insights to the university. instead of waiting a year.

Together, the three clouds enable faster student onboarding and more targeted marketing campaigns – key elements of Agenda 2025 – as well as much faster project delivery for the IT team through a corresponding change in strategy. .

“We went from a very cascading environment, there were around 12 projects a year, to a high-paced agile environment last year with 62 projects, which if you think about it, is almost a closed project. per week, which is a very high return. “

Project timelines were also sped up thanks to a decision to buy instead of build, which Campbell said was a more sustainable option going forward that allowed IT staff to focus on value-added work. that helps the agenda, rather than continually repairing and maintaining a house system, as was the case with the old CRM.

One of the value-added tools that has since been rolled out has been Teams, which initially started with an academic survey of the app as a platform for collaboration.

“We ended up deploying it smoothly and without pressuring everyone to use it. Now we have integrated teams across the organization, ”said Campbell.

The gradual rollout inspired a major HR project, the first in an attempt to go paperless, and reduced the number of emails Campbell receives by roughly 70%.

Cyber ​​Warfare Institute

Another determining factor in the decision to migrate to the cloud was the security aspect.

Campbell said that while there have been no known breaches at this point, current concerns in Australia’s tertiary sector motivated by successful breaches at Australian National University and Australian Catholic University, and the Theft of laptops containing 30 years of students data from the University of Western Australia has reminded the industry to remain vigilant.

Flinders’ new cyberwarfare institute, the Jeff Bleich Center for the U.S. Alliance for Digital Technology, Security, and Governance, has lobbied the university to ensure its own practices are accepted.

“It really puts us as DEFCON 1 here now.

“We are looking to use this value that is in Microsoft to strengthen our services, to keep this openness but also to maintain this control,” she added.

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