What Is a Cloud ERP Solution for Higher Education?

A cloud ERP solution for higher education unites systems that manage student information and those that manage day-to-day business operations through a consolidated platform.

What Is a Cloud ERP Solution for Higher Education?

In the business world, an enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution comprises software that helps companies manage day-to-day business operations—from project management to accounting. In the world of higher education, an ERP solution combines the functionality of a student information system (SIS) with the software necessary for human capital and financial management. Higher education ERP solutions break down silos across campus and streamline the flow of information between departments so that staff, students, and faculty can work seamlessly together.

A traditional ERP is hosted on-premises and can be costly to maintain and upgrade. Meanwhile, a cloud ERP is deployed in the cloud, is supported or managed by a third party, and is flexible and scalable enough to keep pace with the emerging digital campus.

What Are the Main Features of a Cloud ERP Solution for Higher Education?

Student Information System

An SIS can store a student’s information, provide them with self-service tools, and connect them to faculty and staff. Some of the modules contained within an SIS include:

  • Registration – A registration component of the SIS includes the ability to streamline the registration process and automate student record tracking. An SIS manages all vital enrollment data and verifies and updates student records.  
  • Advising – The advising component of an SIS enables students and advisors to work together to manage a student’s academic progress. An SIS gives advisors and students the information and planning tools they need to effectively take control of and act toward a student’s educational goals.
  • Student Life – A student life component of an SIS allows institutions to automate and manage processes like housing assignments, vehicle registration, and space booking. They can also store and manage health, emergency contact, and student conduct information. With a student life component, institutions can update and track student information in real time as well as simplify routine processes and eliminate duplicate data.  

Human Capital Management System

An HCM system can help optimize and streamline your institution’s HR processes. It provides faculty and staff with similar self-service capabilities that an SIS provides to students. A cloud ERP’s HCM solution allows you to manage staff and faculty and fill open roles to ensure all classes and administrative departments are efficiently running. It helps with the entire HR process from hiring to benefit tracking, from payroll processing to compensation. An HCM solution also ensures supervisors and employees share real-time information to make sure that HR transactions are managed quickly and accurately.  

Finance Management System

A finance solution helps colleges and universities control the primary accounting and financial management involved with running a higher educational institution. As a business office solution, it helps institutions efficiently manage tuition and fees, budgeting, accounts payable, accounts receivable, reporting, and procurement and requisitions. A cloud ERP’s finance solution allows authorized users to streamline workflows, automate operations, as well as store, update, and share real-time information.

What Are the Benefits of a Cloud ERP Solution?

A Cloud ERP Can Improve the Value of Work

Manually processing business operations takes a great deal of time and resources, and institutions are more likely to unknowingly engage in redundant processes. A cloud ERP system can help streamline your institution’s business operations by increasing visibility across departments and connecting administrative staff with students on one platform. This saves time by eliminating manual, duplicative, or repetitive tasks. It allows your employees to focus on important work, prevent burnout, and invest their time in higher-value tasks.

A Cloud ERP Can Reduce Costs

Juggling a multitude of disparate systems can be expensive. Because cloud ERP solutions for higher education are designed to unite disparate systems onto one platform, they are less expensive to own and maintain. They also help reduce costly overhead by eliminating the need for on-premises hardware and its associated maintenance.

A Cloud ERP Can Enhance the Student Experience

The more time students spend struggling with administrative tasks, the less enjoyment they associate with their institution. Cloud ERP solutions created specifically for higher education incorporate modern student information systems which can improve learning experiences by integrating and enabling more digital processes that can minimize in-person office visits and paper-based forms. A modern SIS should include digital, self-service capabilities so students can easily register for courses, complete financial aid forms, edit degree plans, etc.

A cloud ERP can also help colleges and universities gather and analyze student data, which faculty and staff can leverage to improve experiences and, as a result, increase retention. A modern SIS can give institutions the tools to identify key factors of student success and implement clearer engagement strategies, such as more flexible learning environments.

A Cloud ERP Can Increase Security

Cyberattacks on college campuses have risen dramatically in recent years, making IT security a top concern for higher education institutions. Because cloud ERP solutions possess top-tier cloud security capabilities, institutions can implement robust data protection, business continuity, and disaster recovery strategies. For example, colleges using a cloud ERP can enable seamless backup and off-site data storage to get operations back up and running in the event of an unforeseen outage. Should a system vulnerability be discovered, your solution provider can implement updates with minimal interruption to your day-to-day business.

A Cloud ERP Can Decrease IT Burdens

Cloud ERPs can dramatically improve an IT team’s productivity and peace of mind. These systems can automatically apply upgrades and updates with minimal disruption to work and without pulling IT staff away from important projects. Because cloud ERPs are scalable and configurable, they eliminate the stress of trying to manage systems during especially high traffic times like registration.

Transforming Your Campus With a Cloud ERP Solution

As institutions consider moving off legacy systems and onto cloud platforms, they should take a close look at what challenges their campuses face and how a cloud ERP solution might help them solve those issues. Being able to cut costs, engage students, increase the value of work through automation, break down departmental silos, gather and analyze student data, and scale your system to meet campus needs can be crucial factors in helping your students succeed and your institution stay viable.