Faced with the need to innovate and meet the demands of the people they serve, higher education is beginning to migrate to the cloud. However, many institutions are stymied by limited financial resources, and they lack the ability to modernize their legacy systems.
As a result, some institutions are looking to migrate their PeopleSoft applications to the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure, allowing them to optimize operations at a reasonable cost. Despite growing financial restraints, institutions can migrate their PeopleSoft applications to the Oracle Cloud in order to provide better services to students, faculty, and staff.
What Does “Migrating” to the Cloud Mean?
When applications are migrated to the Cloud, higher education institutions are essentially migrating their applications to a data center that is physically located outside of the campus. Oracle data centers are located all over the world in California, Singapore, South Korea, and more. To access applications and data, institutions connect to these data centers through the internet.
PeopleSoft applications, in comparison, are usually deployed on-premise. However, PeopleSoft applications can be run in Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI), allowing institutions to take advantage of Oracle Cloud’s capabilities. Instead of paying for hardware and network components upfront, institutions can pay a subscription fee to access their solution. These fees make budgeting for IT needs more predictable and give higher education institutions more control over the services they wish to pay for.
What Are the Benefits?
The main benefit of the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) is the low upfront costs and low maintenance costs. There is no hardware for institutions to maintain or purchase, and updates are automated. As a result, overhead costs are reduced, and IT resources can be spent on innovation rather than just on maintenance. For institutions that are facing IT budget cuts, the reduced spending on maintenance allows them to allocate more of their budget towards digital innovations that will benefit students, staff, and faculty.
Furthermore, updates on the cloud happen more frequently, making it easier for institutions to keep up with the latest technology. This allows institutions to keep up with security updates to protect their student’s personal information, which is becoming increasingly important due to the frequency of ransomware attacks in Higher Ed. Institutions can also take advantage of new innovations as they are released, such as the use of chatbots to enhance a student’s experience.
By migrating its PeopleSoft solution to Oracle Cloud, institutions can expand the capabilities of their current PeopleSoft solution and gain more value. For example, institutions using PeopleSoft can integrate with Oracle Cloud applications to use the Oracle Analytics Cloud. This allows institutions to make better use of student data.
Other applications allow institutions to make use of artificial intelligence and machine learning to glean better insights to support decisions that will have campus-wide implications. By using data to make better decisions, institutions can implement solutions that will boost overall student admissions, retention rates, and graduation rates.
Institutions that have other business systems integrated with PeopleSoft will not be left behind either. These integrations can continue to be used with Oracle Cloud applications through Oracle Integration. With Oracle Integration, institutions can set up, automate, and manage their cloud-to-cloud and cloud-to-on-premise applications. In other words, Oracle Integration provides integration between Oracle Cloud applications and almost any other application, service, or data store used by a higher education institution.
Lastly, running PeopleSoft in OCI allows institutions to have a nearly infinite amount of extremely scalable capacity. This gives institutions access to increased performance, better security, and environmental stability, even during times of peak load. Instead of purchasing hardware to match an institution’s peak load (only to have the hardware sitting around idle the rest of the time), running PeopleSoft in OCI allows institutions to cut operational costs by only paying for what is needed.
How Can PeopleSoft Be Run in OCI?
Institutions can either use PeopleSoft Update Images to create new environments or use PeopleSoft Cloud Manager to lift and shift on-premise PeopleSoft environments to Oracle. PeopleSoft Cloud Manager streamlines the maintenance of these environments and offers the ability to quickly upgrade to the latest PeopleTools release or patch. Usually, PeopleSoft partners will work with institutions to facilitate a successful lift and shift.
Institutions that need additional help running PeopleSoft in OCI can also work with Oracle partners who will provide managed services. Essentially, these partners take over the day-to-day operations and maintenance of the PeopleSoft environment, freeing up the institution’s staff members to concentrate on other critical tasks.
Can Customizations Be Kept?
Generally, reducing the number of customizations is in an institution’s best interest. While the PeopleTools platform is highly customizable, making it one of PeopleSoft’s biggest strengths, customization slows down an institution’s ability to receive timely updates. This leaves them vulnerable to security threats, and makes it difficult to deploy new functions and update third-party integrations.
On top of the issues listed above, having many customizations means an institution must track, maintain, and reapply the customizations after an update. This further slows down the update process and makes it more expensive overall. Instead, PeopleSoft is rapidly coming out with more functions and features that allow institutions to tailor their solutions when appropriate, without needing to customize. As these features are released, institutions can retire their old, complex customizations.
How Can Institutions Get Started?
Migrating PeopleSoft to Oracle Cloud has a myriad of benefits for higher education. The upfront and maintenance costs are low. Institutions will have access to frequent updates, reducing security concerns and allowing an institution to keep their technology up to date. Institutions can easily expand their current PeopleSoft solution while taking advantage of the scalability of the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure.
The path to the Cloud will be different for every institution. Before an institution begins, it’s best to speak with major stakeholders and technology partners to discuss your institution’s business objectives and the challenges that the institution needs to overcome to meet these objectives. By having a clear plan mapped out, your institution can take advantage of what OCI has to offer.
Arvind Rajan is CEO of Astute Business Solutions, a leading Oracle partner focusing on migrating on-premise applications and workloads to the Oracle Cloud. In particular, Arvind has leveraged his industry experience with Healthcare, Education, Government, Non-Profit, Retail and Financial Services to drive vertical solutions aimed at digital transformation initiatives.