How to fight software sprawl and redundant technologies


The other night, I was at home in my kitchen thinking about the upcoming social media chat with our VP of Development for OnBase by Hyland, Bill Filion. During the Q&A on October 8 – conveniently called #AskBillFilion – Filion will discuss the redundant technologies found in higher education and the best way to avoid IT sprawl.

I suddenly realized, even at home, how simple it is to allow redundant technology to take over your life.

In my kitchen, I have three tools that I use regularly – a stick blender, a Magic Bullet and a Cuisinart blender. They are very different, but they all essentially do the same thing. If I needed to downsize my kitchen, these tools would probably be a good place to start. If I was paying maintenance or managing security access or backups for all three, I might have to really consider it. But fortunately, I have the room to keep all three and I can make a good case that I need them.

But every time there is a blending job to be done, I have to make a decision. Which blender is best to use? This is the same problem higher education institutions run into with redundant technologies.

More complex than blenders

As I sat and eavesdropped at a table of CIOs this summer at our CIO Summit, I found they were wrestling with the same problem – but with software. It turns out that a lot of software has imaging, and workflow and eForms.

But software has the complexities that my blenders don’t have. Security, access and licensing, maintenance, ease of use, backup and disaster recovery complicate the question of how much redundancy you can afford to have. And the overabundance of options definitely complicates decisions around the best place to store information or build workflows.

Defining the question

So what do you do when your CRM, ERP and ECM systems (and believe it or not – most institutions have multiple of these now across their campuses) all have imaging, workflow and eForms?

How do you decide which one to use?

Let’s get to the answer

One of my favorite moments working for Hyland came as I sat at that CIO table in June with Filion and CIOs from higher education institutions. If he answered “always use OnBase,” he would have lost the crowd. But he didn’t. As a seasoned ECM professional, he understands the need for ERPs, CRMs and OnBase.

Filion understands smart business processes. He understands the importance of leveraging the right technology at the right time.

Those CIOs had an important epiphany in that conversation. And it’s because he answered “it depends.” And he did that because he cares about solving business problems. Now, several of those CIOs will be bringing that conversation to EDUCAUSE 2015.

To find out how this conversation can help you, bring the questions you have about redundant technologies on your higher education campus to the first-ever Social Media Chat with Bill Filion on Thursday, October 8, 2015 at 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. on our Facebook page!

You can also email your questions in advance to [email protected]. We hope to hear from you!

Laurel Stiller

Laurel Stiller brings her passion for helping institutions strategically maximize their efficiency to Hyland as its marketing portfolio manager for Higher Education. A graduate of Miami University, Ohio, with more... read more about: Laurel Stiller