Unlocking Efficiency: Distributed Management and the Battle Against the Hidden Backlog

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Discover how Kuali Build's distributed management eradicates the Hidden Backlog, boosting efficiency and collaboration in higher ed IT.

Unlocking Efficiency: Distributed Management and the Battle Against the Hidden Backlog

Higher education institutions are faced with a constant influx of requests for IT support and software solutions from various departments. The Information Technology (IT) department often finds itself overwhelmed by the sheer volume of inbound requests, leading to delays in addressing critical needs and creating what is often referred to as the "Hidden Backlog." This backlog is comprised of unmet IT requests that remain unresolved due to resource constraints, resulting in frustration among other departments. In response, many departments resort to adopting their own unvetted third-party solutions, ultimately creating more problems than solutions.

The Hidden Backlog: A Common Dilemma

The Hidden Backlog represents a significant challenge for higher education institutions. As departments submit requests for IT assistance, it becomes increasingly difficult for the IT department to keep up with the demand. Overburdened IT teams are forced to prioritize projects, often leaving essential requests unattended for extended periods. Frustration mounts as other departments, eager to address their immediate needs, resort to "going rogue" by seeking their own unvetted solutions. This practice is often characterized by the creation of numerous PDF or paper-based forms that students and faculty are required to fill out manually.

The Consequences of Going Rogue

While going rogue might offer temporary relief to departments seeking IT solutions, it brings its own set of complications and challenges. These makeshift solutions are rarely subjected to rigorous vetting processes, potentially exposing the institution to security risks and data governance issues. Furthermore, the proliferation of disparate solutions fragments the technology landscape within the institution, making it increasingly difficult to maintain a coherent and integrated IT infrastructure.

Transitioning data from traditional formats like paper or PDFs to online systems, such as student information systems, is not a straightforward task. Moreover, migrating data between different systems can further amplify these challenges, risking data integrity and consistency.

Kuali Build: Empowering Citizen Developers

Kuali Build is a powerful tool designed to enable IT to chip away at their backlog by empowering departments to create their own forms and workflows. The distribution of power allows for shared governance, ensuring decisions can be made at any level by people who support and know external users best. At its core, Kuali Build empowers "citizen developers" within various departments to create their own online forms and workflows. These forms and workflows can be tailored to the specific needs of each department, discipline, or even one specific class while seamlessly integrating with existing systems and databases.

Shared Governance

If the idea of Kuali Build empowering every non-technical user to create their own integrations worries you– well, you wouldn’t be alone. Though shared power is the end goal, Kuali understands that every institution is going to achieve healthy governance in the way that works best for them. That is why Build offers configurable features, like Spaces and Settings. Centralized administrators will be given control over what permissions their distributed users have. 

Distributed Management: A Game Changer

Okay, now that we’ve seen a little bit about why distributed management should be employed and how to start the process, you may be wondering: what can distributed management do?

  1. Create Custom Solutions: Citizen developers can easily create online forms and workflows that match their department's unique requirements. This eliminates the need for cumbersome paper forms or unsecured PDFs.
  2. Maintain Data Governance: Kuali Build ensures that data governance standards are upheld by providing centralized oversight and control. This mitigates the risks associated with data breaches and security vulnerabilities.
  3. Integrate Seamlessly: Forms and workflows created in Kuali Build can be seamlessly integrated with existing systems, reducing data silos and enhancing data accuracy.
  4. Streamline Processes: By automating previously manual processes, Kuali Build helps departments save time and resources, ultimately transforming digital processes campus-wide.
  5. Foster Collaboration: Collaboration between IT and various departments becomes more effective, as IT teams can focus on strategic initiatives rather than being bogged down by routine requests. Additionally, Build’s scalability provides common footing for collaborators from different stations and departments. 

The Hidden Backlog is a common challenge in higher education institutions, but it doesn't have to be an insurmountable one. Kuali Build's distributed management feature offers a solution that empowers departments to take control of their IT needs while maintaining security and governance standards. By enabling citizen developers to create custom online forms and workflows, Kuali Build helps institutions unlock efficiency and collaboration, freeing up the IT department to focus on strategic initiatives that drive innovation and growth. In a world where agility and responsiveness are paramount, Kuali Build is a vital tool in the higher education IT landscape.

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Unlocking Efficiency: Distributed Management and the Battle Against the Hidden Backlog

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