With ever-rising levels of data coming from every corner of the institution, increasing scrutiny of costs due to shrinking budgets, higher demand for expanded curriculum and online courses, expectations for proof of student outcomes, and greater focus on operating efficiencies, a boost in technology assistance is imperative to meet these challenges and stay competitive.
The overarching challenge is utilizing the right data to gain meaningful insights that will guide decision-making. Difficulty in collecting data because of information siloed in schools, departments and programs leads to incomplete analysis, making it impossible to produce useful insights for the enterprise. Solving the conundrum requires the collaboration of management and the IT department, and due respect for properly outfitting an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system.
However, with academic technology support, security concerns, and financial and regulatory reporting always on the front burner, IT can find itself low on capacity and skill to take on ERP. In addition, these competing priorities, further described in the 2016 Campus Computing Survey
,(1) can leave little room in the budget for an ERP initiative.
Demand for technology enablement will continue to climb. Drivers will include effective administrative modules
, as described in a study by MarketsandMarkets, which projects a significant growth in education ERP at a compound annual growth rate of 15.9% between 2016 and 2021.(2) Enhanced capabilities are particularly vital now to enrich the student experience and engagement, and improve outcomes through delivery of more complete information to drive better-informed decision-making.
Today’s ERP systems offer true technology assistance
With increasing numbers of uses and users, there is a need to move to a more datacentric, user-focused, social, collaborative and mobile-friendly processing environment. Institutional leaders are both challenged by and inspired to leverage the technology at their disposal to meet expectations to measure — and, as necessary, improve — curriculum delivery models, course offerings, student and institutional performance, learning outcomes and operational efficiency. Fortunately, ERP’s emerging functionality can help meet expectations. One new and valuable contribution is an integrated view of student life cycle from recruitment through enrollment, adaptive curriculum and learning solutions, and student and alumnus data management, as well as data analysis tools.
Leaders are taking advantage of the benefits of agile software development methodologies; advances in data integration, analysis and reporting techniques — and cloud computing.
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