Higher ed IT survey: Integration with ERP/SIS key to IT leaders, institutional success

With their level of experience and perspective, higher education IT professionals feel a responsibility to use innovative technology to solve some of the biggest issues faced by their institution.

IT professionals in higher education have a lot of different responsibilities these days, but one theme is consistent - moving their institution forward with technology. In some cases, a main goal is to enhance the student experience. In others, it is to streamline operations.

As they evaluate new technologies, IT leaders are constantly looking at how new technology will impact students and their institution. And, few things are more critical in their decision-making process than ensuring tight integration between those new technologies and their existing Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Student Information Systems (SIS).

That was one of the key takeaways from Flywire’s latest research report, “An inside look at the changing world of the higher ed IT pro” which surveyed over 200 higher ed IT professionals across the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom.

The Importance of ERP-SIS Integration in Higher Ed

Integration with the ERP/SIS is the central consideration when delivering new functionality. However, integration issues can limit functionality improvements, so a product’s ability to work with the ERP/SIS is a key factor. According to the research:

  • 97% of higher ed IT pros look for tight integration with their ERP/SIS as a key criterion when choosing an external vendor
  • 80% of the respondents say legacy tech is holding them back in modernizing their systems
  • Only 1% say they have no issues when it comes to managing the technical aspects of their EPR/SIS

Integration is not the only challenge higher ed IT pros face

There are many challenges that weigh heavily on higher ed IT leaders in their day-to-day decisions.

80%security and compliance
78%moving to the cloud
74%lack of usability
72%training users
72%cost of maintenance

In most cases, these challenges are linked to their ERP/SIS.

Staffing is worth a closer look. With nearly half of the ERP/SIS technology in the sector being run on-premise and another 40% being run partly on-premise and partly hosted, having an adequate level of experienced staff to maintain and develop functionality may be even more of an issue than the data suggests.

As the student payment experience gains importance, payment technologies must integrate with ERP/SIS

Just about all education IT leaders surveyed believe that making education more affordable for students and families is one of their institution’s biggest opportunities. And, IT leaders play a central role in purchasing decisions around new payment solutions. 78% are already directly involved in budgeting for payment tech at their institution and 94% say they'll be directly involved in budgeting for payment technology within three years.

In their view, the most important factors in selecting an external tech vendor are tight ERP/SIS integration, education sector experience, and a feature set that aligns with their business goals. Flywire understands this and, with seamless integration into existing systems, our Student Financial Software is built to ensure a unified billing, payment and collection management experience.