The COVID-19 pandemic has eliminated any doubt: digital transformation is crucial to colleges and universities that seek to remain competitive in the world of higher education today. As students and staff come to expect flexible learning models, online courses, and increased data security, institutions must evolve with the times.
The benefits of digital transformation are endless—but as you get started on the journey, it is important to have a basic foundation of understanding.
So what is digital transformation? And how can digital transformation generate a competitive advantage?
Digital transformation is a series of deep and coordinated culture, workforce, and technology shifts that enable new educational and operating models and transform an institution’s operations, strategic directions, and value proposition.
That’s a mouthful! Today, we’re going to focus on the technology shifts of digital transformation, which includes the process of adapting digital technology to make an organization’s workflows more efficient and migrating data from a server to the cloud—but it’s also much more than that. Digital transformation of campus technology is also about changing all frameworks to boost security, productivity, profitability, and more.
Digital transformation has the power to completely revolutionize higher education institutions, improving everything from research administration to the registrar’s office.
Here are a few of the ways digital transformation offers a competitive advantage to colleges and universities.
Many workflows in higher education today are cumbersome and outdated. (Think: paper forms, emailing PDF documents, etc.) Thankfully, digital transformation allows institutions to streamline project management across all departments. From IT to student services, staff members, faculty, and students will enjoy faster, more efficient workflows for gathering and recording all types of data.
As students and staff enjoy greater efficiency, they’ll have the opportunity to be more productive. No longer burdened by routine, repetitive tasks, administrative staff will be able to dedicate more time to mission-critical, or value-add, tasks. Work like improving research administration approval processes or improving the student onboarding process cann make a longlasting difference.
Digital processes have the potential to significantly reduce wasted resources, which offers another avenue for institutions to save money. Because automation and cloud-based solutions are more reliable and efficient, institutions will minimize delays and disorganization.
Cyberattacks are a growing concern for all higher education institutions. Sensitive data is more vulnerable to data breaches when stored on local servers or paper forms—but digital transformation offers encryption, restricted access, and secure cloud-based backups.
There is a strong connection between digital transformation and customer experience in education. And just as students enjoy a more seamless and streamlined journey, there are similar benefits of digital transformation for employees.
Likewise, digital transformation is enhancing the education experience in the higher education realm. Both students and staff members benefit from a more intuitive, efficient process—one which requires fewer steps and produces faster approvals.
Looking to learn more about digital transformation in higher education? Check out our complete guide to digital transformation to find out how today’s digital technology can make your college or university more secure, streamlined, and profitable.