The objectives of digital transformation in educational institutions

17, Jan, 2019

Isabel Sagenmüller
BY: Isabel Sagenmüller

Digital transformation is altering the manner in which businesses emerge, function and develop. It is also introducing changes to practices relating to the sales and marketing of products and services, hiring, accounting, and financial management, among many others.

However, what is the aim of this revolution?

Well-implemented digital transformation helps to strengthen the production and growth of an institution. The support of technological tools designed to manage different areas of the business provide the following benefits:

  1. Cost savings.
  2. Reduce administration times.
  3. Information control.
  4. Improve client-supplier relations.
  5. Optimize links between business areas.

However, leaders of companies with systems and practices already installed, need convincing that change is necessary.

The main points that digital transformation of internal management processes seeks to improve are:

Maintain, ameliorate or eliminate operational and administrative processes


Given the size of educational institutions and the fact that they are made up of a large number of departments and personnel, it’s very likely that several procedures are not well or fully aligned with the establishment’s primary objective: to provide a quality education service.

In general, these are internal processes and protocols that are the responsibility of a few people or have limited scope within the organization. However, even when imperceptible, they affect business administration performance. Some may also be redundant or obsolete, and the administration may be uncertain about their real contribution - or damage - to management.

Digital transformation helps to identify and diagnose the value of the institution’s internal processes and to distinguish procedures that are useful and essential for the productive chain from those that unnecessarily consume resources. In summary, it seeks to integrate existing and useful systems in the production chain.

Protect sensitive and confidential data

The invisibility of internal practices and processes entail another risk: data insecurity. The absence of information controls facilitates its accidental release, theft or loss.

By digitally transforming systems and organizational approaches, the educational institution puts data security at the heart of the business.

Security becomes a crucial variable to evaluate product quality. For this reason, the underlying principle governing the development of software and web platforms today is the optimal protection of information.

Nonetheless, technology is not infallible. The digital vulnerability is a widespread problem in the industry. The integration of operations and processes in computer systems centralizes and makes data more accessible, but also increases susceptibility to a cyber attack.

Cybercriminals discover on a daily basis new ways to violate the security protocols of old and new systems. This is why cybersecurity managers constantly update products and services’ protection systems.

Organize the information to improve decision making and increase competitiveness

This point relates to the security variable. Absent or inefficient data organization can lead to the misplacement or loss of valuable information to the institution.

Nowadays no company can afford to risk losing or accidentally releasing such important data. However, businesses are at different stages of development with regards to the use, management and analysis of data.

The use of data in decision making is now a competitive advantage: it strengthens production, aligns operations with corporate objectives, and makes the business’s work transparent to different stakeholders (workers, leaders, suppliers, community).

In the education sector, the capture of data is crucial. It contributes to academic and strategic planning, improves the administration of students and teachers, and contributes to eliminating bottlenecks that obstruct teaching.

Conclusion

Digital transformation is a challenge. It not only involves the installation of technological solutions but also requires users and organizations to change mindsets.

Therefore, it’s not enough for institutions to decide to optimize internal administrative processes.

They need to be clear about why digital transformation is necessary, its capabilities and objectives, and its long-term consequences on the capacity to be productive and expand.

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About the author

Isabel has more than 10 years of experience developing, leading and executing Marketing and Communication strategies at international level (EMEA, US and LATAM). She has worked for B2B organizations in different sectors such as nutrition, logistics and education. She is bilingual in German and Spanish and fluent in English and French.

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