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A New Approach for Student System Selection in a Cloud World

The global pandemic led many institutions to evaluate student systems, reassessing if existing technology meets the growing expectations of students, faculty, and staff. Selecting a student system is no small task; success in the cloud requires a new approach to software selection. The decision has lasting impact on every campus and business unit inside the institution. As your school approaches transformation, here are some things to consider.

Start with the end in mind

When selecting a new system, it’s important to think about where you want the system to take your institution. Questions like: Does your institution seek to be more data-driven? Do faculty, staff and students need more self-service capabilities? Are finance and HR systems seamlessly integrated with the student system? Can enrollment and student care processes be more efficient? These questions as well as understanding the cost to move finance, HR, and student systems to the cloud should all be at the forefront of your system selection discussion.

With cloud-based student systems, students, faculty, and staff experience greater collaboration across departments and can access up to date information, anywhere on any device, to make more informed decisions. The cloud also brings improved security, and an opportunity to leverage best practices for your institution.

Think about the experience impact

With higher ed ramping up digital transformation, delivering an exceptional student experience and improving operational efficiencies are top priorities. Students are increasingly mobile and need access to applications wherever they are, whether that’s near or far from campus. A cloud-based student system can provide a modern, engaging, and integrated experience for accessing college and community resources along with personalized messages that keep students on target to achieve their goals.

Plan a realistic project timeline

With any digital transformation, it’s important to consider the timeline for completion. Pre-implementation work of aligning resources, platforms, and the impact of technology change is critical to reaching successful project goals. Once your team is aligned, set reasonable deadlines that are not artificial, but that keep the project moving. Plan sufficient time for data cleansing and conversion if moving from a legacy system to more modern environment as well as adequate testing. The right deployment partner will work collaboratively to drive the project forward effectively and optimize organizational benefits.

Implement change management

Successful implementation requires resourcefulness, creativity, and commitment of executive sponsors and the project team to help the entire institution through academic transformation and organizational transition. New student systems impact the entire institution, from prospective and current students, to faculty and staff. Proactively implementing change management strategies, including keeping everyone informed, will help users adjust to new ways of working, drive faster adoption, and create a better experience.

Select the right partner

As important as the system selection is the selection of a deployment partner. Selecting a deployment partner that understands your institution’s unique needs and is a strong culture fit contributes greatly to project success. Your deployment partner should work closely with the software vendor to prepare leaders and lay the foundation for successful transition.

Choosing a new student system has many considerations. Selecting the right software and deployment partner can help take your institution to new heights and improve the student experience.