ICT architecture as a tool

Every year, the higher education sector spends considerable resources on ICT systems.  The number of systems is increasing, and they become ever more critical for effective administration and management.  In several different contexts, it has been pointed out that the HE sector lacks a joint unified strategy and architecture for the procurement of ICT systems.  The sector has not yet succeeded in establishing an architecture advisory board to aid in this process, but the university IT managers have, in the meantime, made efforts to drive the development of a joint architecture forward.

Joint architecture principles for the HE sector

This effort has put forward a proposal for joint architecture principles for the HE sector, including a presentation (in Norwegian) of how the principles may be applied in practice.

Sweeping changes across the sector, such as the structural reform outlined in White Paper no. 18 (2014/2015), “Concentration for quality”, require a comprehensive approach that would benefit from a shared architectural philosophy. Any ICT strategy in support of this structural reform must take into account any requirements and changes necessary today, while building ICT systems that are geared toward the future, both technologically and organizationally. These ICT systems then, in turn, would facilitate for smooth, flexible merger processes across the sector. Such ICT solutions and their management should be based on common guidelines, expressed as architecture principles. This document concretizes the architecture principles established by the Agency for Public Management and eGovernment (Difi) in the context of the higher education sector, focusing primarily on ICT. This document was commissioned by the university IT managers’ forum, and IT managers throughout the sector have decided to implement the architecture principles in their respective organizations. This document is also part of the context provided to the task force working on structural reform.