About the Higher Education Reference Models (HERM)
Higher Education Reference Models
The Higher Education Reference Models provide standardised business and data architectures that communicate a generalised view of how higher education institutions are organised and the information they use.
The HERM also include a Business Model Canvas that can support scenario-based planning and is useful for exploring and communicating an institution's specific strategic drivers and goals.These resources can be used by institutions within higher education in a variety of ways, such as a starter kit to accelerate an institution's business and data architecture, a reference point to explore commonalities and differentiators for the institution, and a communication tool to engage stakeholders.
The Higher Education Reference Models help members to:
- increase the value and efficiency of their architecture teams
- describe a 'whole of institution' view to colleagues within their institution
- facilitate the exchange of architectural knowledge and good practice in the sector
- support interoperability and collaboration between member organisations
- improve engagement with industry in major projects and initiatives
The Higher Education Business Capability Model describes a standard set of Business Architecture elements relevant to Higher Education. It can be used as a reference for Business Stakeholders, Enterprise Architects, and Technology Strategists to engage in discussion regarding business effectiveness, needs, and challenges. Standing alongside the accompanying Business Model Canvas, the Business Capability Model elaborates the core value chains for higher education and their underlying business capabilities.
Understanding Business Capabilities
A capability model supports the development of strategies by viewing the business as a collection of capabilities that can be adjusted in response to the demands of the business environment. This models WHAT the organisation is capable of doing. It presents the business capabilities within the wider business context of WHO it serves, relies on, and answers to, extending beyond organisational boundaries. A Business Capability isa particular logical combination of People, Process, Information, and Technology necessary to deliver a discrete required outcome to achieve a specific business objective. The capabilities support the realisation of an institution's strategies.
The Business Capability Model serves as an anchor for assessing perspectives such as strategic importance, maturity, business operational pain points, capital investment, and organisational structure. It presents a view of the organisation with traceability from business objectives through to the information, technology, and other resources required to support them.
The Higher Education Data Reference Model describes a standard set of Data Architecture elements relevant to Higher Education. It identifies the business nouns that define a common language for Business Stakeholders, Enterprise Architects, and Technology Strategists to communicate clearly. The primary component of the Data Reference Model is the embedded conceptual data model, which captures these nouns as high-level data entities, grouped into topics.
Data are a set of facts, representing a specific concept or concepts. Value is added to data when they is combined and presented to users within a context, turning them into meaningful information to support business decisions and enable operational activities USAGE The Business Capability Model serves as an anchor for assessing perspectives such as strategic importance, maturity, business operational pain points, capital investment, and organisational structure. It presents a view of the organisation with traceability from business objectives through to the information, technology, and other resources required to support them.
There are three established levels defined in data modelling: conceptual, logical, and physical. This conceptual data model focuses only on the data entities to describe the language of the organisation and ha san enterprise-wide scope to provide a strategic view of information. The purpose of the model is to define the agreed terminology and key concepts that are important to the business. The model can be used to identify which data entitie sare assembled or reused in various information assets, data quality risks, who is responsible for governing the data, and where data are stored. The top-level conceptual data entities also provide the basis for more-detailed conceptual, logical, and physical data models that further specify relationships and attributes as inputs to business technology solutions design.
- Version 1 of the HERM models was launched in 2016, following the agreement between FromHereOn and CAUDIT. The CAUDIT Enterprise Architecture Community of Practice is responsible for the curation and evolution of the Higher Education Reference Models.
- The UCISA UK HE Capability Model was published in 2018 and was developed from Version 1 of the HERM. The UCISA Capability Model has been adopted by many Universities across the UK HE sector. Whilst this version of the model continues to be available for download there have been a number of subsequent HERM releases and the UCISA EA Group is now working in partnership with CAUDIT, EDUCAUSE and EUNIS to further develop the HERM as a global reference model for Higher Education.
- Version 2 of the HERM Business Capability Model was released in May 2019
- Version 2.5.0 of the HERM was launched in October 2020 with a consolidated refresh of both the Data Reference Model and the Business Capability Model.
- The Version 2.6.0 HERM release made in September 2021 introduced the Business Model Canvas and was accompanied by a global launch that recognised the warm collaboration between CAUDIT, UCISA, and EDUCAUSE guiding the future of the HERM. These collaborations were formalised by joint statements of intent countersigned between CAUDIT and UCISA and between CAUDIT and EDUCAUSE.
- The latest release of the Higher Education Reference Models, Version 2.6.1, has been further developed through enduring and constructive collaborations and influence from EUNIS.
UCISA Enterprise Architecture Group
The UCISA Enterprise Architecture Group (EAG) seeks to promote and develop Enterprise Architecture practice across the Higher Education Sector in the UK and Ireland through the sharing of knowledge, experience and good practice.
We provide an active forum for collaboration and sharing of knowledge, experience, case studies and templates – including the use and value of the HERM Business Capability and Data Models.
The EA Group manage a HERM Working Group with sub-groups looking at the Business Capability and Data Models
Please contact email@example.com to join our group
The UCISA HERM Working Group is helping shape the future development of the models
- Sub-groups looking at the Business Capability and Data Models
- Provide feedback to and in dialogue with the CAUDIT HERM Working Group
- Feedback and suggestions from UCISA have been incorporated into the latest releases of the HERM