Adapt, adapt, adapt. Perhaps one of the most used words by higher education educators in 2020, and it will no doubt remain on everyone’s lips well beyond this academic year. A challenge made even harder when the institution’s legacy administrative systems and operating models, far from simplifying, are teetering between over-complexity and inertia.
So how are institutions moving to a position where they can adapt and respond to the rapid rate of social, economic and political change in higher education?
All whilst ensuring that operations and systems remain efficient, compliant and secure?
‘Doing nothing’ has long ceased to be an IT solution, but just ‘replacing technology’ is rarely the answer either. To truly modernise and have the agility needed to continuously improve and adapt, senior leaders need to embrace digital transformation that standardises, simplifies and integrates systems and processes at a deep level in the organisation. Collaboration is key to ensuring the needs of all the institutions’ modern business units are being addressed 'now', whilst preparing for the future.
If we take the admissions process, for example, this highly competitive area requires re-evaluation of processes to ensure the institution can offer engaging student experiences, right from the start. Turning into an ‘application experience’ instead.
From application processing to interview administration, fee calculations, scholarships/bursaries, agent management and UKVI processing – and everything in between and beyond – there is enormous scope for the institution to adapt to new market trends and make process improvements that deliver a seamless experience for students and staff.
This is where, if your plan is to ‘just replace technology’, your institution is only ever likely to make incremental improvement and cap its return-on-investment potential.
Instead, HE providers that really want to transform their institution’s application experience, start by:
- Mapping the current process and systems that are in place
- Comparing current processes with industry-leading admissions practices
- Considering how deep current practices are integrated within the business, and
- Analysing the technical debt the business unit is carrying (i.e. examining what is required to modernise existing systems).
Equipped with this information, institutions are in a much better position to develop a clear map and change plan to modernise admissions in a way that enables the team to adapt to changes in the marketplace, as they arise.
It might be that the change plan prioritises better configuration and integration of systems for a more seamless experience in the short term, with the longer-term goal of moving systems, processes and services to the cloud. Or you might identify that it is time to look at modernising the digital platform immediately to align to what the most forward thinking HE institutions are achieving. Either way, assessing and planning the changes you intend to implement in order to achieve your desired outcomes, means you are better placed to realise your vision for admissions – not just add some new functionality that placates users for the short-term!
Having accrued decades of sector experience implementing change that delivers incredible experiences for staff and students, Tribal's technology and change leaders have launched a new service specifically for HE institutions that want to align their operations to the modern student lifecycle.
Tribal Transform helps you Assess (see where you are), Plan (leveraging proven best practices), and Implement the business process and technical changes needed to meet your digital transformation goals – now, and in the future.
Together, we will review, standardise and most importantly simplify your processes and configuration to maximise efficiency and agility, define best practice, and develop a blueprint for your digital platform that serves the needs of your institution, rather than the needs of your technology. And to ensure you are future-ready - updates, industry required changes, and optimisations, are all taken care of as part of the Tribal Transform delivery - helping you get the most out of your investment while freeing up your time and resources to focus on what really matters.