ITS IntegratorInnovation

ITS Integrator and Digital Innovation In Higher Education

By April 11, 2022April 25th, 2022No Comments

Digital transformation is happening across all industries, including higher education. This transformation has further been fuelled by the COVID-19 pandemic and the need for higher education institutions to be agile and flexible enough to continue operations even when students cannot attend in-person lectures or be on campus. The shift in how these institutions are utilising technology is revolutionising business models and is changing the way things “have always been done”. 

Many higher institutions have lagged in terms of adopting new technologies and innovations. Higher education institutions now need to take advantage of the technology at hand and adopt new ways of doing things to remain relevant and meet the changing needs of students. One such technology is the innovative ITS Integrator, which enhances efficiency, improves operations, and provides students with an excellent student experience.

Current digital disruption in higher education

According to Times Higher Education Digital Universities Week panel discussions, there has been a massive digital disruption within the higher education sector globally. This disruption has been significantly impacted by the pandemic and the shift in how learning and teaching needed to occur within this period. This shift has dramatically changed how higher education institutions operate and have encouraged the integration of new technological solutions within this sector.

Higher education institutions have been slow to adopt new and innovative technology in recent years. The pandemic almost made this shift a necessity, as without adopting a digital environment, the institutions would not have been able to function. This experience has ultimately changed higher education business models.

One of the most significant changes to come out of the pandemic era is the adoption of technology to solve problems. Technology has allowed students to continue their studies without missing a beat through online learning. The move towards online learning has redefined how universities can function and how learners can learn. With this new way of learning and teaching, students can personalise their learning experience.

With digital integration, students can now adapt their learning experiences in a way that suits them within a digital environment. They are now able to utilise apps on their mobile phones, laptops, tablets etc. to follow a lecture at any time and from anywhere for remote learning.

Globally, some universities are taking this business model even further. Minerva is a highly selective online university that follows a digital-centric approach. Students are able to complete their degrees or courses completely online without a campus experience. The professors at this university hold virtual office hours. This university has attracted students from across the globe, as they are able to attend and graduate from this university without leaving their countries.

 The move towards utilising digital technology enhances the institution’s agility and flexibility. It will allow even more students to study the courses they want to study and engage with the institutions even if they cannot be on campus in person. This is excellent news for institutions as this will improve profitability and increase revenue.

It is important to note that the right digital technology needs to be utilised for this business model to work efficiently and effectively. Institutions should not only look at digital platforms that facilitate teaching and learning but software that enhances administrative and back-office operational efficiency, student management, financial management, human resource management, timetabling, offers reporting, and more. This has a significant impact on the student experience and will also affect how the institution functions.

ITS Integrator in higher education

Accelerating Digital Transformation in higher education administrative processes

There is no doubt that digital transformation within the higher education sector is accelerating, especially where online learning is concerned. One of the other areas where digital innovation is being driven, is within the administrative processes within these institutions. Administrative processes are central to the institution’s success and are the backbone of its services.

The truth is that many institutions still do not have the right technology in place to enhance operational efficiency. For example, many institutions are still doing administrative tasks manually, including printing and filing. Not only does this take up more time, but it utilises more resources and takes up space. With the right software solution higher education institutions can save on time and costs, which ultimately impacts revenue. This isn’t the only benefit, by utilising technology to create a student self-service platform where they can access all information about their course work, ask questions, view their timetable etc, you not only reduce the administrative burdens on your staff but enhance the student experience and reduce their frustration. Students no longer need to be on campus to query fees, check exam results, ask questions etc they can do it all from one easy to use app.

ITS Integrator is an innovative software solution that ticks the boxes of all these administrative operating needs.

ITS Integrator for HE institutions

ITS Integrator for higher education institutions

The ITS Integrator is an innovative software solution for tertiary institutions and has a number of functionalities to help bring higher education institutions into this new digital age, especially where administrative processes are concerned. This innovative software covers an array of functionalities that include:

  • Student management ITS Integrator Student management system is software that simplifies and reduces time spent on managing student data, scheduling, and communication. It’s vital for educational institutions to make use of software that helps save costs, simplify complex processes, reduce errors and paperwork, and generate reports for more effective decision making. This solution offers institutions this functionality and the ability to manage student recruitment and applications, registrations, the number of students allowed for a qualification and reserving places for repeating students.  It even makes provision for a Student Education Plan that a student might need or want to aid during student counselling interventions. Adapt IT’s Student Management software also includes a self-service function for students. This solution:
    • Simplifies and automates complex processes.
    • Saves costs due to less time spent on manual tasks.
    • Enhanced organisation of big data.
    • Ensures compliance to statutory requirements, including audit trail.
    •  Integrates easily with 3rd party vendors.
    • With the self-service option, students can complete registration faster.
    • Provides a better student experience.
    • Allows access to the self-service option via mobile devices, which makes it convenient for students.
  • Financial management ITS Integrator Financial Management Software is used by educational institutions, big or small, to oversee and govern all aspects of the institute’s finances. This software was designed to cater to the fun­damental function of financial control and to form an essen­tial part of management reporting. This includes managing income, cash flow, expenses, and assets to maximise the institution’s profitability. The platform streamlines the process of invoicing and bill collection while eliminating accounting errors and ensuring compliance with regulations associated with tax and accounting. This Financial Management platform offers institutions an effective way to budget, invoice, send out financial statements, and manage cash, assets, etc. This dynamic platform makes managing your financial processes efficient and effective. The benefits of this product module include:
    • Essential finance-related tasks and activities are consolidated, streamlined, and automated in line with existing, changing, and emerging regulations.
    • The ability to implement formal procedures for handling financial transactions and activities, creating overall consistency within the institution.
    • A centralised view of all available information across the necessary departments and institution units. This further facilitates accuracy and consistency.
    • This platform provides critical information related to the institution; this, in turn, aids in budget forecasting, new business opportunities, asset-based expenditure etc.
  • Human resource management – Human Resource Management is a vital aspect of any successful institution, as it focuses on the management of the most critical resource within the institution, your staff. The ITS Integrator Human Resource Management platform streamlines the process of recruiting and acquiring staff, the training and development of staff, and managing staff activities within the institution. This platform ensures that the core institutes’ objectives and daily operations are maintained, and that high performance is achieved within the work environment. This is made possible through five specific software modules, which include:
    • Personnel system – The ITS Integrator Personnel System is highly integrated with the ITS Integrator Payroll System and is linked to all other relevant ITS Integrator systems. The management of personnel can be done via back-office system processes or, when applicable, via the self-service for personnel. It manages the life cycle of the personnel member at the institution.
    • Salary System – This system is a full payroll system compliant with all Government and Tax regulations in your country. Multiple payrolls can be maintained with their own rules, e.g. full-time permanent employees, part-time permanent employees and contract employees.
    • Personnel Self-Service – The ITS Integrator Self-Service system provides online real-time access to the ITS Integrator system, enabling institution personnel to gain access through a secure login, to the data applicable to the individual. The systems can be accessed through a web browser and have a user-friendly interface making navigation throughout the system uncomplicated.
    • Salary Budgeting System – This system can calculate salary budgets, showing several consecutive monthly salary calculations for future periods. This is calculated using user-defined criteria to budget for vacant posts, future resignations, etc
    • ITS Infoslips for Payslips – ITS Integrator has created a facility that enables users to give their staff electronic payslips instead of the traditional hardcopy payslip.
  • MIS and reporting – The ITS Integrator Management Information System (MIS) is a central data storage system that gathers, organises, stores, processes, and analyses information to generate reports. This system assists educational institutions in storing and reporting student and financial information that is essential to the institution’s operations. This software has been specifically designed with the needs of educational institutions in mind, especially regarding data integration. It ensures that reporting of different student-related elements is efficient, effortless, and accessible. With this software, users can generate reports relating to:
    • Application reports
    • Headcounts
    • Graduation reports
    • Subject information
    • Generate and view adequate full-time student information
    • Residence information
    • Academic progress reports
    • Personnel information
    • Financial data
    • Accounts receivable information
    • Cash flow information  
  • Resource Management – The ITS Integrator, Resource Management software, is a project management tool that enables institutions to manage and allocate resources to maximise efficiency better. This tool allows for planning, assigning, and tracking who is working on a project, what resources are required and estimating the time needed to complete the project. It assists in human resource management by identifying resource requirements, resource allocations, skill sets and managing the resource planning process to ensure the project’s success.
  • Timetabling – The Timetabling (CELCAT) software, part of the ITS Integrator system, has been created to enhance the administrative and scheduling processes of course and exam timetables. This state-of-the-art solution optimises resource utilisation and reduces the time spent on scheduling and data capturing, resulting in saving on time and effort. This software makes timetabling a convenient and practical process for both administrators and students. This highly integrative solution has the following capabilities:
    • Attendance monitoring
    • Automated timetabling
    • Room requesting
    • Interactive timetabling
    • Publication of timetables
    • Reporting
    • Pay claim
  • Jasper – JasperReport® Server & Jaspersoft® Studio are essential ITS Integrator tools used to compile, design, and distribute reports and securely manage the reports, visuals, and dashboards. The JasperReport® Server is a stand-alone embedded reporting server that provides reporting and analytics for both mobile and web applications. Jaspersoft Studio® then gives you the necessary tools to design, build, and customise the reports. This software has been designed to make generating and creating reports efficient and straightforward.

From the above it is clear that this specific software solution has been built with the current and future needs of higher education institutions in mind. This software is being utilised in over 55 higher education institutions across Africa, New Zealand, and Ireland. It also offers system integration allowing this software to be integrated into your current solutions and systems.

Dr Joe Viljoen, Data and Information Manager at ORBIT TVET College, has this to say about the ITS Integrator system, “By automating processes that previously required manual intervention and record-keeping outside the system, the administration is considerably eased, while data accuracy is improved as information doesn’t have to be rekeyed. The self-service functionality with the associated workflow routing delivers an improvement in efficiency while driving up user satisfaction.”

The-future-of-higher-education

Conclusion

The higher education sector will continue to adapt and change, and digital technology will play a significant role in this process. For these institutions to remain relevant in the world today they need to adopt technologies that not only enhance the student experience and offer new and different ways of learning but also aim to streamline, automate and ensure operational efficiency where administrative processes are concerned. ITS Integrator is an innovative software solution that is taking student, financial, Human Resources, resource and timetabling management to new heights. For more on how this software is driving IT integration and innovation in this sector download our whitepaper here.

Pravie Govender

Author Pravie Govender

Experienced Manager with a demonstrated history of working in the Tertiary Education Sector. Skilled in university business process analysis, business and systems project implementation, operational improvements and team leadership.

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