Ahead of the Bell Curve: Digital Innovation & Campus Growth

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Educational institutions that fail to adapt to technological evolution will face dire fiscal challenges. Competitors who respond quickly to digital innovation will leapfrog institutions unable or unwilling to implement vital changes. Student information systems, enterprise resource planning, research management and customer relationship management processes need to be as efficient as possible to help ensure institutional survival and expansion.

Post-secondary organizations which implement streamlined, automated, cloud-based software solutions will benefit from increased operational effectiveness. This provides the infrastructure required to support an environment of excellence for students and faculty, leading to growth throughout campus. Staying ahead of the technological bell curve prevents the bell tolling for your educational institution.

Cloud Software Disrupts Outdated Legacy Solutions

According to research published by the EDUCASE Center for Analysis and Research, educational institutions utilize systems that are an average of 13 years old. Up to 81 percent of these software systems feature customization post-installation. As a result, this sector of CRM software is among the most outdated in the United States, suggesting the potential for terrific ROI through the implementation of a new system that replaces patchwork application.

One of the biggest industry disruptors has been the wide scale adoption of cloud computing services among enterprise-level organizations throughout the world. This has enabled the growth of Software as a Service (SaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), all of which have revolutionized enterprise solutions.

The benefits of cloud computing manifest in cost savings and increased efficiency. Rather than hosting all the software and hardware on campus and hiring a large development team to maintain the platform, you may outsource as much or as little of these responsibilities as you wish. Modular program design lets you avoid bloated software by implementing the specific solutions that you seek. This leads to scalable solutions that match the requirements of any school seeking to optimize institutional effectiveness.

Prior to the rise of the cloud, the costs and complications of collaborating with top-notch enterprise software providers were prohibitive to change. Now, educational institutions may outsource their entire IT operations off-site if they wish, gaining access to advanced software expertise with a few clicks of a mouse or a couple of presses on a touchscreen.

Boost Strategic Engagement Via Automated, On-Demand Metrics

Enterprise software solutions that contain automated features, such as data collection and analysis, increase the speed and depth of engagement with students and faculty. Instead of staff members combing through student records to discover who may require assistance, automated metric reporting proactively informs educators when students appear to have difficulty. This allows staff to intervene sooner rather than later, increasing the probability that the student will conquer issues and thrive on campus.

A significant part of maintaining the reputation of a campus revolves around researcher and alumni engagement. Modern CRM solutions are capable of seamlessly transitioning individual contacts from prospect to student to alumni, increasing the effectiveness of communications and fundraising campaigns. Automated metrics also keeps track of research projects, making it easy to identify researchers who are the most qualified to undertake projects while keeping track of finances with real-time reporting.

Educational institutions that persist in avoiding automation waste considerable resources compared to campuses that have eliminated as many manual processes as possible. Automated processes also eliminate the inevitability of human error, which may have serious repercussions for students and faculty, further increasing cost and reducing operational efficiency.

Avoid the Digital Downgrade

Faculty and students face the irony of the digital downgrade when dealing with administrative software on many campuses. More than ever, consumers use technology at home that's superior to the technology they find at educational institutions. For students, this leads to the cognitive dissonance of obtaining higher education from a post-secondary school that's a generation behind the times. For staff, this leads to frustration with old, inefficient systems which consume time that's better spent researching and preparing lectures.

A significant digital downgrade reduces the prestige of your educational institution while creating needless difficulty for students and faculty. Dealing with software that isn't optimized for mobile platforms places a barrier between institutions and stakeholders, reducing the effectiveness of your communication and recruitment campaigns while increasing the resources required to bridge the gap between disparate systems.

For students, this leads to an outdated learning environment that prevents lecturers and teacher assistants from fully engaging with their pupils, reducing the quality of education. Researchers who don't have access to modern research management tools are forced to spend time dealing with costing and navigating through shifting government rules and regulations instead of dedicating as much effort as possible to research duties.

The success and prestige of educational institutions revolve around the accomplishments of students, researchers and alumni. When these stakeholders have to deal with the digital downgrade instead of being furnished with the tools to succeed, you put the future of your institution at risk by refusing to adapt to innovation.

Competition Demands Adaptation

As more students opt for online courses or choose to forego post secondary education entirely, the number of eligible recruits decreases, resulting in greater competition to recruit the best talent. As government budgets continue to tighten, the amount of research money decreases, creating greater competition for researchers and projects worthy of the public purse.

Educational institutions that eliminate outdated systems and adapt to modern standards will have a notable advantage over campuses that remain rooted in old technology.

Kent T
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As a freelance writer and marketing consultant, I've created customized content and campaigns for businesses across the world, ranging from billion-dollar companies and industry leaders to specialized boutiques and marketing agencies. Through expertise earned across multiple disciplines, I bridge the communication gap between business and audience, tailoring content according to the needs of both. After nearly a decade of performing copywriting, marketing and other types of content, I’m able to quickly and accurately find the heart of the matter, increasing the ROI for any project with which I'm involved. My educational background and experience includes computer science, business and sales, customer-facing work and leadership roles, including previous employment as a Director of Marketing for an international software company. This pe...
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