Digital transformation and the development of new innovative technology are changing how higher education institutions choose to manage and integrate their different operational departments. One of the biggest game-changers within this space is the migration to cloud ERP. Let’s look at why this is below.
What is an ERP?
An Enterprise Resource Planning System, also known as an ERP, is software used to manage and integrate essential elements of a business. This single software solution integrates planning, purchasing, inventory, sales, marketing, finance, human resources, etc. It also boosts productivity through smart Artificial intelligence (AI) workflows that allow for the automation of processes and reduces repetitive admin tasks, which cost both time and resources.
These ERP systems provide you with essential insights needed to effectively plan, forecast, and manage resources that enhance productivity. This is done by consolidating all data and information across organisational departments to improve visibility and make it easier to share and access accurate data in real-time. An ERP system also enables you to build better relationships with stakeholders. Since all information is stored on the system, you can access all stakeholder information, allowing you to sort out problems or issues related to a particular student quickly and efficiently.
What are the different types of ERP?
There are two main types of ERP systems utilised in higher education institutions today. These include:
- Onsite or On-Premise ERPs – traditionally, this is how ERPs were implemented. Businesses would pay a licensing fee for software installed on their hardware with their team managing the IT infrastructure. Many organisations chose this route specifically for compliance and customisation reasons. This ERP often lacks flexibility, scalability, and agility needed to change and adapt as the institution changes and grows.
- Cloud-based ERP system – this ERP system is controlled and managed remotely on remote servers using cloud-computing services. Authorised personnel can access this software through any computer device connected to the internet. This system does not require an upfront investment of software licensing fees, hardware, or IT staff to manage it. Instead, the institution pays a monthly subscription fee that ensures access to ERP cloud applications at any time and from anywhere.
Why are Cloud ERP systems gaining popularity?
Cloud ERP systems are gaining popularity because of the numerous benefits they provide for higher education institutions. The cloud ERP implementation benefits include:
- Cloud ERP allows businesses to change outdated business models and processes efficiently and effectively as it enables new capabilities and applications.
- The cost savings are significant with cloud deployment as there is no large upfront payment required or hardware and resources necessary to manage the system.
- Cloud ERP systems allow for fast, flexible implementation and configuration of applications.
- These types of cloud ERP solutions simplify the complexities of running multiple applications through automation to streamline workflows and gain efficiency across operational departments.
- With this type of system, innovations, functionalities, and application improvements are regularly developed, allowing you to do more with the system.
- This system was made with big data in mind, which means you can access better reporting tools to generate meaningful insights, trends, changes, resource usage and more in almost real-time.
- With a cloud-based ERP, you can expect data security to be a top priority. This makes security risk mitigation, data backups, and disaster recovery much more efficient and effective.
- An ERP cloud solution allows for scalability by adding additional computing power or data storage capacity when needed.
Why cloud ERP is the future?
From the above, it is clear that there are many benefits of cloud ERP software for higher education institutions, but this is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of what capabilities this type of system has. As technology continues to evolve, more functionalities and services are being unlocked. Ones that are set to make a significant impact in how we utilise cloud-based ERP software include:
- The move towards app-based microservices that offer even more flexibility and adapt to your specific needs when you need them.
- Expanding on access and how staff, students, and various stakeholders are interacting with the institution and adapt to their specific experiencer needs.
- Utilising machine learning to boost productivity and reduce costs by creating instant apps that free up time.
There is no doubt that cloud ERP software is set to take centre stage across several different higher education institutions. A reason for this is the many benefits related to the implementation of this type of system and how it aims to streamline workflows, enhance productivity, and facilitate efficiency across all operational departments. This type of solution also offers the flexibility, agility, and scalability necessary for a growing, changing and developing sector like education.