I am stuck and my brain is on total overload from deep thoughts on the software market changes and attempts to digest recent research. I swear I feel like I am in one of those old SNL skits for Deep Thoughts by Jack Handy. I never thought it would be a bad thing having so many things to share since the normal fear of blogging is not having anything interesting blog about.
My recent posts on the Ellucian lawsuit with Cajana was only one of many deep thoughts I needed to work through. What makes the current situation particularly hard is all of the thoughts are connected with one idea relating to and building upon another.
What makes it even more difficult is organizing the ideas into digestible segments for posting of around 800 words each. I have considered just using a white paper approach to do a brain dump if this post doesn’t help me get unstuck.
IT Strategy Adjustments
Software vendors are making a lot moves lately that should be reflected in your IT strategy. Vendor consolidations that bring us Ellucian out of Datatel+SunGard and the continued BlackBoard acquisitions are major events which should trigger several IT strategy reviews in every IT department. Just don’t forget that Oracle has been busy too.
Institutions should not stop there. In fact they really should not even begin there. Your reviews should begin at the top and work down through the education plan and institutional strategic plans for vulnerabilities not previously considered now that the future is more clear.
Avoid focusing on the Open Source Software (OSS) aspect of the BlackBoard acquisitions because that might take you down the wrong path. After all, if you were with Moodlerooms because of an OSS strategy you may a have a bias in your decision making model.
The broader issues to focus on are the forces in the software industry that compel companies like BlackBoard and others to pursue the OSS products and their commercial hosting providers.
My posts on Ellucian suing Cajana over the NSCC Banner managed hosting have resulted in a few discussions with various people about Banner managed hosting and Banner application management services. It seems some customers are not real happy.
There are clearly some strong opinions on why Ellucian is suing Cajana and how it relates to the Banner managed hosting customer experiences and BlackBoard’s acquisition of manged hosting companies. But I want to be careful not to pile on Ellucian so I have been taking my time on this part.
Impact of SaaS
While some vendors are consolidating their positions and broadening their portfolio with managed hosting and OSS blocking positions, others are developing compelling new and modern products on SaaS platforms.
I am not just talking about Jenzabar here. SAP Business One OnDemand solution was recently released along with a very interesting study by Mint Jutras on the Pros and Cons of SaaS ERP which should be useful to those interested in the higher education ERP landscape.
Software Market Forces
I have already cited a few items that play into the forces at work the dominant higher education software market. But there are other important issues to be considered some comes from the Tambellini Group 2012 SIS Market Report.
As if the software vendor market issues alone weren’t enough. What really put me into overload was considering these recent survey, research and opinion papers:
- 2012 Inside Higher Ed Survey of College & University Presidents
- 2011-12 Inside Higher Ed Survey of College & University Chief Academic Officers
- Coverity Scan: 2011 Open Source Integrity Report
- Rethinking Higher Ed Business Models
- IT-Based Transformation in Higher Education
- 2011 EDUCAUSE Core Data Services Report
- 2011 Inside HE Survey of College & University Business Officers
And there are several others recent papers on business model innovation and the actual IT investment performance.
Well it does feel good to at least do a quick stream of consciousness dump even if it wasn’t up to the Jack Handy level. If anything it takes the pressure off of not writing anything for a couple of days. Since I think I have settled on what I want to say now it is just a matter of sitting down and working through it.