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Washington State University Modernization


Workday at WSU

Project Overview

The Modernization Initiative is the force behind the update of WSU’s finance, post-award grant administration, payroll and human resource systems. WSU will replace our mainframe system, AIS, with Workday, while simultaneously transforming administrative processes. Benefits include real-time reporting, standardized and streamlined business processes, and minimizing the administrative work for the University community, which will support WSU in achieving its core mission and the Drive to 25


The current administrative software, Administrative Information Systems (AIS), has been responsible for supporting core processes for human resources, payroll, and finance operations since its original deployment in the 1980’s. Since then, WSU has opened five additional campuses, employed almost 4,000 more faculty and staff, doubled its research expenditures and quintupled its operating budget. Although AIS has been continuously supported, updated and improved with stop-gap technical resources, the core technology is outdated and unable to provide the necessary functionality to support WSU’s contemporary needs. These limitations have led to a large number of shadow systems, duplicative data entry across disparate systems, and paperwork-heavy and ineffective business processes.

As the aging system draws near its end of useful life, and faculty and staff continue to feel the increasing administrative pressures each year, WSU leadership deemed the replacement of AIS a critical and time sensitive University priority. After an evaluation of replacement solutions was performed it was determined that Workday would best meet the University’s current and future operating requirements. In the Summer of 2018, the WSU Board of Regents approved the initiative and associated funding model to begin the Workday implementation project.