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Editorial | iSIS better extremely late than never

Published: Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Updated: Wednesday, March 13, 2013 01:03

 The Integrated Student Information System (iSIS), will replace the thirty- year-old Student Information System (SIS) program currently in use by the end of the year. After decades of dealing with SIS’s less-than-intuitive and clunky workings, the creators of iSIS are optimistic about the possibilities of what should ostensibly be a vast improvement on SIS — the new site’s designers seem confident that iSIS will continue to work out glitches and to grow as the campus determines what works and what doesn’t. The idea that iSIS could evolve to meet specific concerns and stresses of a rapidly changing world of tech holds promise—the track record of its older sister, SIS, does not, however, inspire the same fuzzy feelings.

SIS’s age is a telling piece of information on the matter of its effectiveness: the information platform turns 30 this year, a remarkable age dating back to a time when the program was considered quite forward-thinking. By the late 2000’s or even earlier, however, the sheen of SIS had gone the way of all kinds of 1980’s things society wanted to forget. The dilapidated program, in need of daily maintenance—a rarity in today’s twenty-four hour world—has been keenly lacking an update of the level that iSIS will hopefully provide.

That being said, iSIS has not arrived early, on time, or fashionably late, but tardy to the point that instead of eliciting sighs of relief it instead suggests the possibility of further chaos, as the university’s technology departments attempts to integrate the program properly for student use and engagement such that it doesn’t—hopefully—encounter any of the “glitches” that iSIS developers have suggests will be worked out. After so many, many years of SIS, one shouldn’t be surprised at the less than elated feeling at being rescued by iSIS.

Once again, if iSIS does all the things its creators say it can efficiently and without great difficulty of implementation, the appreciation for iSIS will be significant. Its capacity to improve the way students handle the registration process as well as its consolidation of passwords and usernames will be worth praise, if successful. If not well done, in the vein of the worst bureaucratic fixes in ages past, iSIS will be reviled and railed against in the coming weeks. The creators of iSIS should not jump to any surety that their program is so perfect until implemented. Even if it is, it is important to remember how late it has arrived.


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