The industry wants government and other educational entities to promote clear and open standards, and actually allow and promote the integration between systems. While SIF meets some of these needs, current practice has big admin systems locking out independent vendors and not permitting, (or hindering) integration. This and other problems in big admin system is seen in QLD One School (which had delays and other problems + Link-2), the Victorian Ultranet (Link-2, Link-3), the NSW ERN / LMBR / SALM (Link-1 Link-2 Link-3 Link-4 Link-5), and NT/WA SAMS ... among other examples. Also note that supporting an integration protocol is not the same as allowing it to be used by third parties.

There are big problems inherent in Educational authorities spending huge taxpayer sums in designing custom made 'Big Systems'. Time and again, this model fails - when the solution is relatively simple... Accredit existing vendor systems that perform the task, stipulate data protocols such as LISS and SIF, and only custom build the 'enterprise' features to manage and aggregate the data, as opposed to re-inventing the wheel to design 'replacement' systems for all the end user schools for day-to-day running.

Departments engaging in big IT contracts are important and useful, but should have a focus on interoperability between existing systems, instead of re-writing everything for everyone, from the ground up. A big enterprise system designed by educational authorities can co-exist with a number of third party vendor systems which are already in very wide us in schools everywhere.

A focus on data interoperability allows schools to continue to use their existing technology systems provided by third parties (Admin/billing/timetabling...) at no extra cost to the department or the taxpayer - while the data is then aggregated internally to the departments enterprise system. For a tiny fraction of the cost, a solution can be up and running in a fraction of the time, with far less disruption and IT risk, using vendor products that are tried and tested, and are already in wide use among schools.

Click the links on the left/below to navigate to some associated media publications on the topic of "Big School Admin Systems"

Nobody wants a big dinosaur IT system. The world has changed!
Big dinosaur IT systems of yesteryear. Men in stuffy suits with a mainframe. Says it all.