How digital integration is enhancing higher education

For almost a decade, the CAUDIT Top Ten has been a welcome resource for higher education leaders attempting to navigate the digital world. The brainchild of the Council of Australasian University Directors of Information Technology (CAUDIT), the annual survey asks members to identify the key topics affecting their organisations’ strategic application of digital capabilities.

How digital integration is enhancing higher education | Innovior

In a sector where “institutions can be slow to evolve”1 and many staff bemoan “antiquated IT systems and processes”2, it is little wonder ICT leaders in universities and research centres across Australia and Oceania keenly anticipate the findings of the study.

Amid a myriad of issues highlighted in the 2024 edition of the CAUDIT Top Ten, the deployment of digital stratagem is continuing to cause headaches. Higher education institutions are not alone in their desire to be dynamic, customer-centric businesses but they face unique challenges in rolling out the tools, solutions and platforms needed to achieve that aim. Topics such as Digital Strategy, Digital Transformation and Digital Integration all appear in this year’s Top Ten, highlighting the need for a clear and concise approach when prioritising technology.

In a bid to help university leaders achieve that, this article will outline the factors that negatively impact integrated planning within higher education, steps that can be taken to mitigate such factors and how Innovior is combining leading technology and expert knowledge to ease the load.

4 digital integration challenges in higher education

There are a variety of factors that make digital integration difficult for the higher education sector.

  1. Multiple silos: studies show that 89% of tech leaders believe silos are one of the leading obstacles to digital transformation success3 and there are few sectors with a more siloed mentality than higher education. From multiple campuses and schools to countless departments, institutes and facilities, tertiary institutions are multi-faceted organisations that make it difficult for units to connect with each other and, in turn, seriously hinders large-scale reinvention.
  2. Poor communication: one of the tenets of successful digital integration is the ability for people to easily communicate with each other. Unfortunately, the siloed nature of higher education creates barriers to that need, making it difficult for some to have necessary conversations and easy for others to avoid them altogether. Communication lies at the heart of teamwork but it does not come easy in the complex and multi-dimensional setting of tertiary institutions.
  3. Vested interests: anyone who has worked in a higher education institution knows that individual faculties can sometimes operate as “small fiefdoms”4 and nurture leaders who are more likely to resist than embrace collaborative change. Coupled with highly educated staff accustomed to leading discussions and being in control, this can engender a culture where self-interest overrides institution-wide initiatives.
  4. Lack of visibility: it is ironic that one of the key benefits of digital integration is also an impediment to its deployment in higher education. With tertiary institutions typically operating in silos, decision-makers struggle to gain an all-encompassing overview and data-driven insight into where resources are most needed. This makes financial planning and budget forecasting particularly difficult.

How digital solutions can bolster higher education

Integrating digital tools such as Anaplan can improve higher education administrative processes and release up to 30% in cost efficiencies.

  • Map student load: it is concerning that many universities are ‘flying blind’ when it comes to their overall student loads. The walled approach adopted by many departments and faculties makes it difficult to map and understand the patterns of student load – where are they coming from? What courses are they demanding? Digital integration tools such as Anaplan remove the guesswork by establishing seamless connectivity between systems, departments and stakeholders.
  • Align with workforce supply: understanding student loads allows administrators to take the next step of matching demand with academic supply. Where do we need to employ more lecturers? Is there a need to balance permanent and casual staff? Anaplan can leverage historical data, trends and predictive analytics to generate workforce demand and supply scenarios and generative conflict-free and personalised schedules.
  • Optimise financial forecasting: higher education is a multi-billion-dollar industry, which makes it essential for tertiary leaders to embrace advanced forecasting and modelling technology. Mapping and aligning student loads with academic workflows are just the beginning of Anaplan’s capabilities. The pivotal next step is using that information to understand the financial needs of an organisation and improve resource allocation and strategic planning for the coming financial years.

How Innovior delivers digital integration excellence

As digital transformation experts, Innovior not only helps higher education institutions identify leading technology but partners with them to maximise their potential.

  • Consulting-led approach: Innovior knows there is much more to digital integration success than merely buying an off-the-shelf solution. Its team of expert consultants go the extra mile by assessing their clients’ specific needs and unique business challenges. It is all about understanding their pain points and using data-driven insights to create the right solution for the right client.
  • Digital transformation leaders: the rising demand for digital innovation in the higher education sector has seen a corresponding increase in tech providers that claim they have the answers to all one’s woes. Innovior stands apart as a highly experienced firm with more than 10 years of industry-specific expertise and home to a team of experts with decades of collective knowledge.
  • End-to-end delivery and support: Innovior is in for the long haul. While some tech providers are happy to sell higher education institutions a solution and move on, it is committed to guiding clients through their entire transformation journeys and remaining invested with managed support as needed.


Between the likes of higher operating costs, greater competition and an increasingly complex regulatory landscape, universities and research centres are facing unprecedented challenges. Integrated planning is crucial for those organisations looking to stay ahead of the game and Innovior has the digital solutions, business acumen and quality staff to ensure it is delivered to the highest standard.

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