Readiness in Systems Implementation: Lessons from the Higher Education Sector

Readiness in Systems Implementation: Lessons from the Higher Education Sector

Eric Lou (University of Salford, UK) and Hafez Salleh (University of Malaya, Malaysia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61350-311-9.ch002

Abstract

Higher education sector is notorious for lagging behind the industrial sector in the application of IT/IS systems and infrastructure. This chapter presents the application of the IT/IS readiness model in a higher education organization. This organisation was established in 1967 and currently has about 2,500 staff and 18,000 students, of which, 3,000 are international students from all over the world. The organization comprises of 14 schools and 13 research institutes and offers programmes various fields, which include virtual reality, magnetic and optics, business, law, genetic algorithms, health-related studies, and building construction. In 1996, Academic Division (AD) identified the need to improve the management of the student database due to the increase of students and programs offered by the organization. AD also identified that the Legacy Student Information System (SIS) was unable to cope with the increasing demand of data administration. This case study presents the overview of issues encountered while assessing the e-readiness of the organisation after most of the systems went live. Post implementation, the system has been able to reduce the redundancies in processes and has been able to provide a more effective support to students and staff. However, still there are several issues and conflicts that need to be resolved, and a radical rethink of the processes supporting the IT system is needed to achieve any further efficiency.
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Background

This chapter presents the application of the IT/IS readiness model in a higher education organization, which we will refer to as Organization A. The organization was established in 1967 which Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, as the first Chancellor. To date, the organization has about 2,500 staff and 18,000 students, of which 3,000 are international students from all over the world. The organization comprises of 14 schools and 13 research institutes and offers programmes various fields, which include virtual reality, magnetic and optics, business, law, genetic algorithms, health-related studies and building construction.

The Governing Court (Board of Trustees) of this organization has some 200 members amongst whom are representatives of educational, professional, regional and national bodies. The responsibility of the Court includes the appointment of the Chancellor and the Vice-Chancellors, and certain members of the Council. The Council is the business executive body of Organization A and is responsible for its overall organizational structure and for the management and administration of the finances and property of the institution. The Council is composed of some 37 academic, non-academic, student, and lay members. The Senate is composed wholly of academic members and is the academic authority of Organization A. Its duties are to promote the academic work of the organization, both in teaching and research, and to regulate and superintend the education and discipline of students. The Vice-Chancellor, Pro-Vice-Chancellors, Deans of Faculty, Associate Deans, Heads of School, and the Directors of Academic Enterprise, Graduate Studies and Information Services are all ex-officio members of the Senate.

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