5 steps to effectively use ERP solutions to digitize an educational institution

Technology-based infrastructure, such as cloud-based systems, is rethinking the education landscape.

It is undeniable that the Indian education system is going through an extreme transformation. The COVID -19 epidemic continues to worsen, making it difficult to predict the reopening of educational institutions. As a result, the industry is witnessing an exponential increase in the use of ERP solutions to optimize distance learning and make it easily accessible through virtual mode.

Technology-based infrastructure, such as cloud-based systems, is rethinking the education landscape. Due to a paradigm shift from physical classroom education to online learning, educational institutions have started to accelerate their digitization process. Adopting integrated and intelligent solutions provides automated academic and non-academic operations to schools and colleges. Here are five concrete steps that could help schools enter the digital age and make an impact with ERP solutions.

Give time to brainstorm

Before embarking on the integration of ERP solutions, educational institutions should spend a lot of time brainstorming. In this uncertain time when everyone has to rely on distance learning, it is imperative to analyze the challenges that authorities face in deploying ERP software. For example, an educational institution might create a list of goals after identifying the set of challenges that help implement an ERP system to streamline all work processes and improve the efficiency of academic and non-academic activities. . The main objectives should revolve around simplifying management and student activities, efficiency and transparency while ensuring data security.

Choose the ERP provider carefully

The ERP system is essentially at the heart of the management of the internal processes of schools, colleges and universities. It is not software that only digitizes management and administration tasks, but also benefits students and teachers by improving communication and the learning experience. It is important to ensure that the ERP system in which the institution invests must meet its challenges and needs. The first and most important factor in choosing the system is to identify a reliable supplier who can provide full support to the authorities.

For example, during the current COVID-19 situation, the authorities should invest in a complete ERP solution including modules for the online admissions and fee management system, e-learning for a transparent teaching-learning environment , online assessment tools and BI-based analytics for Student Performance Tracking, communication app for student-teacher collaboration, choice-based credit system software (CBCS) or education-based software on outcomes for best student learning outcomes and experiential learning offerings (in line with NEP 2020 guidelines).

Invest resources in staff training

Digitizing the entire education system of a school or college can be intimidating, especially for staff who are not technologically advanced. To make the implementation productive, authorities need to invest in training staff who ensure the smooth and transparent deployment of ERP software. Training staff with technical skills and knowledge improves efficiency and provides better learning outcomes. By providing extensive support to staff, it becomes easy for teachers to plan their activities while adapting to dramatic digital change.

Careful planning of tests

The implementation of ERP solutions is a multi-step process that provides quality assurance before it is fully operational. It must be carefully planned to identify and eliminate bugs that could cause disruption. Since cloud-based ERP solutions include multiple configurations, authorities should have functionality checked beforehand, rather than having them fixed after implementation. Besides functionality testing, ERP testing also covers performance testing and integration testing to resolve minor issues and bugs that could affect user activities.

Get started and focus on post-implementation support

There is no doubt that powerful ERP solutions require careful planning and a decent budget. Its implementation must be transparent and meet the objectives and needs of the institution. When the software finally goes live and users start working on it, the project management team should have the right support. A formal post-implementation support structure should be pre-decided before fully accepting the solution. Additionally, post-implementation support is required when the institution plans to focus on upgrading the system in the future. Thus, the authorities must focus on the post-implementation support of the team for a transparent adaptation to digital work processes.

Given the challenges that exist in the education industry in uncertain times, ERP solutions have become an ideal tool for schools, colleges and universities. Using the right system not only helps tackle challenges, but also helps institutions move quickly. In addition, the integration and customization of the solution is expected to offer endless opportunities and drive the adoption of digital technologies in the education sector.

Janice G. Ball