Building the Connected Campus in the Era of Digital Transformation
Higher education institutions around the world are racing to rapidly modernize their IT environments to meet the new challenges of the information age.
A key reason is that higher education’s core “customers” — tech-savvy Gen Z and millennial students — expect a digital university experience on par with what they enjoy in their consumer lives.
Fueling the “consumerization of education,” these digital natives look for seamless omnichannel interactions, from course selection and online learning to mobile cafeteria checkouts, all supported by anywhere, anytime data access.
A second reason is the need to upgrade from costly, inflexible and maintenance-intensive legacy on-premise systems to more affordable and agile cloud applications. Many universities are well along the way in migrating applications for student management, fundraising, financials, HR and more, moving to the cloud for greater cost-efficiency and to meet students’ digital expectations.
The move to best-of-breed cloud applications provides faculty and staff with modern systems that support new degrees of productivity and collaboration. Done right, digital transformation initiatives in higher education improve the quality of education, streamline administrative processes, liberate funding for innovation and raise satisfaction levels across all stakeholders. Yet migration to cloud applications is not without barriers.
To truly support digital transformation and build a connected campus, cloud systems need to be connected to one another to share information. And in many cases, cloud apps need to connect to in-house legacy systems that may remain in place for the foreseeable future.
Those factors are making data and application integration a prime concern for higher education institutions. Let’s consider three key objectives for universities — student experiences and outcomes, recruitment and student lifecycles, and operational efficiency — each of which can be greatly enriched by fast, flexible connectivity across multiple applications and data sources.