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Open Architecture SaaS in Higher Education – Clemenbit
Thu. Mar 23rd, 2023

Traditional, monolithic application suites were initially developed in response to the inability to integrate applications in the early days of the enterprise softwareindustry. In order to create a full breadth of capability, a vendor had no choice but to write every application module themselves or to advance their product line through acquisition, often resulting in problems with integration, usability or no integration at all.

While these approaches may have appeared sound at the time, experience with these systems has surfaced many challenges and short-comings. Many colleges and universities have had to adopt several disparate”suites” to meet the various needs of operating units throughout the college to best service students. The results are extremely high maintenance costs, crippling IT complexity, little ability to adapt to changing opportunities, and little to no integration across the organization.

A new paradigm for higher education enterprise software is upon us. Modern enterprise application architectures are moving away from the legacyapproach of the monolithic suite. Higher education has reached a tipping point in enterprise applications, a point which creates massive new opportunities for colleges and universities to transform their enterprise architectures and achieve greater benefits. Benefits of this new approach include:

  • Lower costs
  • Reduced IT complexity
  • The ability to capitalize on best-of-breed applications
  • An integrated enterprise


The future of higher education software rests with companies who are the best at their core business focus. These companies leverage new industry standards to integrate broadly with other important education and business applications, and make it easier for universities to integrate their own internally developed applications. Higher education no longer has to settle for a package of second-rate applications in order to benefit from the one application module that is core to their mission.

The Emergence of SaaS: Is it Enough?
Software as a Service, or SaaS as it is known, is a topic of discussion in most higher education IT circles today and adoption rates are on the rise. But what does it mean?

Because a SaaS application is delivered to the school as a service, securely over the Internet, the school is automatically kept on the latest version of the application, reducing costly and disruptive upgrade projects. Colleges don’t incur the expense and hassle of purchasing, installing and storing their own hardware and software, plus they can better leverage staff expertise by moving the focus away from software maintenance and upkeep to instead focusing on strategic decisions to improve the overall student experience.

While SaaS in and of itself delivers numerous operational and financial benefits for higher education, traditionally it has been viewed as a closed environment. To truly embrace the potential of SaaS, it needs to be supported by an open architecture.

By rahul