Even though institutions often spend millions of dollars on campus technology, many are not yet taking steps to maximize the value of those investments. As the role of technology becomes increasingly vital to institutional and student success, colleges and universities must be sure to optimize their use of new solutions. Below, we examine five ways institutions can maximize the value of their technology investments.
1. Invest in a Single-Vendor Solution
The easiest way to maximize the value of your technology investments is to leverage solutions from a single vendor. With a single-vendor approach, you can eliminate the need to juggle multiple maintenance contracts, improve software integrations for better operations, and unite your data.
While the value of eliminating multiple maintenance costs speaks for itself, the value of uniting your data and improving system-to-system integrations lies in the fact that you’ll be able to better use data to make informed decisions—decisions that can ultimately help increase enrollment, retention, and yield.
2. Move to the Cloud
Having student, finance, and HCM systems hosted in the cloud can help institutions save money. It also allows institutions to receive important software updates without having to disrupt services or spend excess time on physical implementations.
In its ability to increase agility and flexibility, the cloud reduces the burden on our IT staff and reduces operating budgets. It also helps mitigate security risks and improves online experiences for faculty and staff.
3. Fully Leverage the Partnership With Your Solutions and Services Provider
If you’re investing a significant portion of your budget in technology, you’ll want to ensure you are fully leveraging that tech. The easiest way to do this is to ensure you are partnering with your solutions and services provider. Remain in close contact with your customer success managers and invest time and resources in the ongoing training of staff and faculty. To truly get the most out of your system, you want to ensure that your IT teams and end users are familiar with the full scope of a system’s capabilities.
4. Right Size Your Tech Stack
Avoid extraneous costs, shadow IT expenditures, and expensive customizations and make sure that you are only using the technology your institution needs. In switching from best-of-breed software to a single vendor solution, you may find yourself missing some of the bells and whistles of your previous products. Still, if you decide to add software from an additional service provider, make sure you are using an integration platform with built-in connectors as this will lighten the load on your IT staff.
5. Give IT a Leadership Role
To truly maximize the value of your technology investment, CIOs and CTOs need to be in a position of leadership on campus; they need to be able to influence the purchase of technology and the way those solutions are used.
Ensuring IT has a seat at the table should go beyond IT teams and be a concern for college and university presidents. The more influence an IT department has on campus, the more effective they can be in ensuring institutions get the most value out of their technology investments.
To discover how to get the most out of your IT staff and your technology, watch our webinar with EDUCAUSE.
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