We have seen the college and university landscape shift dramatically over the last two years. In most cases and for most schools, the COVID-19 pandemic forced school administrators to develop and deploy technologies in days and weeks that otherwise would have taken months and years. Now, like so many industries, higher education is assessing the technologies and solutions that are here to stay and deciding how to invest time and resources.
Many are predicting that IT infrastructures will continue to be a significant, if not top-priority investment for campuses over the course of the next two to three years. This is giving campuses the opportunity to shift to cloud-based solutions. The pandemic highlighted the advantage that cloud solutions can offer campuses. Rather than having to buy more servers to support an increase in storage space, cloud-based solutions allow users to quickly deploy new technologies to a large audience with the push of a button.
For higher education institutions, this shift offers an opportunity to fully evaluate existing systems and to use cloud-based, SaaS solutions to eliminate duplicative technologies. Top software developers and experts predict that all industries, and especially higher education, will transition to the cloud and use it as an opportunity to streamline their database management and finance systems. For years, many schools have sacrificed functionality because solutions providers have offered one-size-fits-all technologies. Cloud-based systems will allow administrators to deploy a hybrid multi-vendor, best-of-breed ERP ecosystem.
Cloud-based systems require an up-front investment and minimal regular maintenance fees whereas traditional, in-house infrastructures require costly equipment that is expensive to maintain and can quickly become dated. Cloud-based infrastructures can be tailored to meet the needs of schools of all shapes and sizes.
Another key benefit of shifting to cloud services is the relief it provides administrators from the stress and financial responsibility of data management and data security concerns. IT experts manage these critical functions, allowing campus administrators to focus energy and resources on educating students and running their campuses.
The COVID-19 pandemic not only intensified the shift to the cloud, but it has created a necessity and an expectation that both administrator and end-user experiences are seamless, fast, and always available. This is likely an expectation here to stay. Students and faculty members have benefitted from the ability to access course materials, take tests, receive feedback and more on their own time. There will always be a need and desire for course flexibility and accessibility.
While the move to the cloud may seem overwhelming, at Transact we have developed partnerships and tools to help campuses of any size get the most out of their technology solutions.