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Technology Built to Fit You

January 27, 2020

Technology Built to Fit You

Molding applications to fit your needs, not the other way around

The awards and performances at this week’s 2020 Grammy Awards Ceremony covered a variety of genres and as usual, made their marks in different ways, from grand productions, like rapper Tyler, the Creator or Ariana Grande, to more subtle (but no less powerful) deliveries like Bonnie Rait and Tanya Tucker. The range of artists and genres is just another reflection of our modern culture—that of finding the niche that speaks to you.

The same could be said about modern technology tools that are available to workers today. Research firm Gartner put out a list of 10 predictions for 2020, including this one: “By 2023, 40 percent of professional workers will orchestrate their business application experiences and capabilities like they do their music streaming experience.” What does that mean? It means that instead of technology applications defining how we do our jobs, organizations are designing application experiences around the user. A basic example of this is cloud technology that frees workers from going into an office, and instead allows a “work anywhere” environment.

This mentality of fitting technology to the user is something Kuali is highly familiar with—it’s at the core of everything we develop. With a focus on modular tech, configurability, and products that bridge gaps, Kuali fits right into Gartner’s prediction. Here’s how we do it:

Modular Tech

Rather than building large campus-wide systems, Kuali focuses on modular technology with a specific management focus: research, financial, curriculum & catalog, continuity planning, and no-code form building.

Modular technology allows institutions of higher ed to augment large ERPs that already exist on their campuses with smaller, more specific pieces of technology. These smaller applications add modern practices to the applicable departments on campus with a much lower burden of expense and implementation. And, with APIs and SaaS delivery, technology like Kuali is scalable to as many or as few departments as need the software. For example, our no-code form and workflow software, Kuali Build, can be used by one department, a whole campus, an entire university system, or any size in between.


Gartner further explained its streaming music analogy: Today's listeners don't buy a whole album to listen to one song. They find or curate their own playlists of their favorite music. "End users can consume [a playlist] as is or further customize it as they like by adding their own music," stated the Gartner report. When it comes to technology, instead of having to use an all-in-one application to do a single business function, departments can use an efficient mix of tools to get their work done. And with Kuali, users can configure the software to create a custom user experience.

Similar to the music streaming software in Gartner’s analogy, Kuali’s software is designed to be highly configurable. Each user can design a workflow or approval process to fit their own process. Certain forms, approvals, reports, and other preferences can be configured from campus to campus, department to department, and in many cases, user to user. For example, our Sponsored Programs software can be configured to meet the unique needs of an administrator, and then configured to meet the very different needs of a faculty member.

Bridging Gaps

Even in today’s modern world of software solutions, there can still be room for improvement or a gap in a tech’s capability. Kuali Curriculum and Catalog Management can be used to bridge the gaps in the student information system's function or smooth a disjointed communication and approval process. Gone are the days that you need to use four or more systems to get one approval. Kuali Curriculum and Catalog Management can bridge the gaps and facilitate one smooth string of approvals.

In addition, Kuali Ready, which focuses on continuity planning specifically for higher education, looks at the task of continuity planning through a higher ed lens, as opposed to a general business lens. That important niche background helps continuity planners plan for the specific needs of a college campus, rather than trying to do the square-peg-round-hole scenario that you can often find with other business continuity tools.

Kuali continues to deliver products that work to create a better user experience for customers. By focusing on modular tech over large ERPs, configurability over customization, and providing niche tools that tailor to higher education, we are excited to see how our customers move forward in the years to come. If you’re interested in learning more, contact us today or visit our website.

Gartner’s predictions on 2020 and beyond can be read in full by members here.

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