Why do universities need cloud ERP?

25, Jul, 2018

Isabel Sagenmüller
BY: Isabel Sagenmüller

Regardless of whether it is an in-house or external management system, the attributes of a cloud-based Enterprise Resources Planning (ERP) can be vital in improving academic administration efficiency.

Like all large companies, academic institutions can have a management system in the cloud - also known as Cloud ERP.

One of the most attractive features for different universities around the world that use this tool is the ability to have a single data repository for student information covering each of their subjects by degree, their timetable by semester, and even the classrooms, labs and workshops that are available for allocation according to academic demand.

Equally important, in most cases Cloud ERP management systems reduce costs. This is because their primary function is actually financial management, allowing decisions to be made in real time, without the need to cross-check or review numbers or contract additional accounting software.

Also, the cloud often offers a pay-as-you-go subscription model based on usage, avoiding rigid contracts that can make academic institutions captive of their contracts with suppliers.

In summary, it is an online software that can be accessed by all users from any device, providing much more mobility, as well as resource optimization. 

In-house Cloud ERP versus external Cloud ERP

Institutions that still do not have a Cloud ERP management system and are looking for efficiency-enhancing tools to be recognized nationally and internationally might consider the benefits of using this software, whether in-house (with own servers) or through an external provider.

The first corresponds to the most traditional format of systems architecture, requiring staff and resources dedicated 100% to its use. Also, software updates are a recurring cost of the solution.

On the other hand, an external Cloud ERP is updated automatically making it simpler to add apps and solutions according to administrative needs.

Benefits of an in-house Cloud ERP management system

Security. Although many data centers have software specially designed for computer security, in an independent management system there are fewer entry points and, therefore, less risk of suffering a cyber-attack.

Simplicity. Small companies that usually have basic technological needs can do without the full scope of services offered by data centers. Thus it is more advisable for them to develop in-house management solutions. 

Benefits of external Cloud ERP management system

Easily scalable. Once an in-house management system is acquired and configured, it can be tough to add space or new products. In contrast, when cloud services are outsourced, resources are already available and can quickly adjust to a company’s unique needs.

Backup copies and disaster recovery. Data centers are designed to make regular security backups, so if there is a cyber-attack or disaster, the data can be recovered. Besides, these places are able to return to work quickly after unscheduled downtimes. 

Conclusion

Regardless of the alternative chosen by an academic institution, one of the system’s great benefits is having the data concentrated in one place, allowing the user to understand the institution’s different target audiences better, whether they are students, faculty or administrative staff.

There are now technologies capable of analyzing the information obtained from Cloud ERP management systems, drawing conclusions based on transactional data and providing analysis to universities so that, for example, they understand the kind of students they have. All, with the ultimate goal of improving the quality of education.

Academic Planning - A simulation game

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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