Digital Transformation in Higher Education with Mendix


on July 20, 2016

As I was catching up with a college friend of mine, we eventually came to discuss how our work and careers were going.  As I was telling him about my recent projects with Mendix in higher education, he was surprised – he knows what Mendix does, but didn’t see how it fit into universities.  He had heard how slow universities can be at making changes, how diverse requirements for these applications can be, and how they want to be able to integrate into their existing systems.  These challenges are typical to higher education institutions pursuing digital transformation, and they fit perfectly into what Mendix provides.

Universities can be slow at making changes for many reasons – funding, risk levels, difficult requirements, trying to find an off-the-shelf solution that works, and many other reasons.  With Mendix, and our digital transformation framework, we aim to come in and ease that concern.  With a small ‘Start’ project, we can make a direct impact quickly and display the value of updating and improving these systems.  With the application platform, in that first project we’ll likely build re-usable modules.  For example, we can integrate into a Single Sign On solution, or implement the university branding. This module can then be reused on any other future applications, lowering the development time and level of risk for each subsequent project.

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When pursuing digital transformation in higher education, each university has unique processes and workflows that must be followed.  This often makes finding off the shelf solutions difficult, and with the high cost of custom development, funding is difficult to come by.  With Mendix, we can mitigate both of these problems – with our rapid development, funding can be cheaper and faster than your typical custom Java or .Net solution.  Since it is still a custom solution, we can meet the unique processes required.  We can also meet the vast needs of universities – helping clients build apps that help students register for courses, track research funding, track time and expenses, manage lab equipment – and more!

Mendix also provides the ability to integrate with many different systems.  At universities we’ve implemented integrations with PeopleSoft, Workday, SAP, Oracle Financials, Blackboard, and Microsoft 365.  With our native web service integrations, and the ability to extend your application with custom Java development, we can integrate with most widely available systems used in higher education.  This allows for information to move continually from application to application, so the users always have the information they need, in the application they need it in.

Mendix really does provide a great value to higher education – with the ability to quickly and efficiently build applications that meet exact requirements and integrate directly into other applications, the Mendix Platform provides the ability to complete projects that wouldn’t have had a chance in the past due to previous limitations.  Gone are the days of slow moving universities, with outdated systems and manual processes.  With Mendix, these processes can be optimized and digitized, bringing higher education into the realm of Digital Transformation!

Discover MIT’s 2020 Vision for Digital Transformation. Download the video here.