University of Wisconsin–Madison
Interoperability diagram

New initiative aims to improve IT system integrations

Have you ever wondered why it’s so difficult to update something as simple as your name at UW-Madison? Have you ever been frustrated by the process of integrating a new application with other university systems? 

With so many users needing access to so many different applications and systems, the “data pipes” on campus can become very complex. This congestion can prevent efficient and effective access to information that the whole university requires to do its valuable work. And, with new institutional needs emerging and evolving at a rapid clip, there is a clear need for more effective information sharing between people, systems, and technologies to optimize outcomes and quality of experience. To alleviate some of these long-standing issues and to better position the university for future technology growth, UW-Madison is launching the Interoperability Transformation Initiative.

Interoperability is the capacity of IT systems across an institution to work in concert with one another and to have access to up-to-date, accurate information.

The initiative will create a cohesive strategy that allows things like your identity data to travel with you wherever you navigate. It will also establish common principles across all enterprise systems to reduce the cost and complexity of integrating new applications. Most importantly, this will provide an increased ability to integrate applications across business systems and enable faculty, staff, and students to perform their work in a more efficient and timely manner.

The kickoff for the initiative was held at Union South on July 22, 2019. Members of the program and development teams were joined by stakeholders and interested parties from across the university. After a welcome from UW–Madison CIO Lois Brooks, the program team presented newly developed service principles and a high-level illustration of what interoperability is and where it is headed.

The initiative has just officially started, but a lot of work is well underway. The program team is committed to ensuring the initiative is inclusive. It has been reaching out to other key initiatives like the Administrative Transformation Program and important university stakeholders like the Office of Data Management & Analytics Services to include them in a collaborative process. You are invited to visit the initiative’s Process & Progress page to watch a recording of the kickoff event, download the presentation slides, and view the current initiative timeline. You can also let the program team know how you would like to be involved in the initiative or provide anonymous feedback.