University Business January 2018 - 54

SPONSORED WEB SEMINAR DIGEST

Strategies for
Moving to the Cloud
Modernizing outdated systems and improving efficiency

A University Business Web Seminar Digest * Originally presented on November 14, 2017
As higher education continues to feel pressure to reduce costs and improve efficiency, campus IT
environments are rapidly changing and the speed of cloud adoption is increasing. More schools are utilizing
cloud technology to modernize systems, cut costs and analyze data to gain insights about more costeffective ways to run the institution. But it is crucial that such an important decision is made strategically,
and that cloud systems are adequately assessed to ensure they will meet the needs of the institution.
This web seminar outlined some practical strategies for successfully moving any college or university
to the cloud. Presenters included the director of IT at the University of Wyoming and the director of higher
education at Oracle, who described how UW assessed and selected a cloud platform to replace the school's
outdated financial and HR systems, and how this cloud model will benefit the university by improving
efficiency and reducing costs.
Brad Saffer: Things have changed in the last 15 to 20
years in the higher education space. A lot of it is technological change-obviously, the advent of the internet and mobile phones have had a big impact on how
we as consumers interact with the world, and by extension, how students expect to interact on campus.
There have also been a number of programs trying
to reach out to the nontraditional student-folks who
are not able to just stop working and dedicate two to
four years of their time to school. The financial crisis
also had a big impact on how students started to look
at their education. That crisis severely dampened employment prospects for students, so those who were
continuing their education were looking at its value
more closely and making sure that the investment of
time and money was going to pay off with a job at
the end. The financial crisis also dampened the funding that higher education institutions were receiving.
So a student today is looking at paying a lot more for
their education and is then saying, "I need to make
sure that I'm employable at the end."
Now when a student comes to campus, they're ex-

pecting a consumer-like experience. They're expecting to interact on campus the same way they interact
when they shop on Amazon. If I can buy shoes on
Amazon at 3:00 in the morning, I want to be able to
change my class on my mobile phone at 3:00 in the
morning as well. That has a tremendous impact on
systems.
On the back end, we're seeing a lot of schools
working through heritage or legacy systems that are
siloed and bifurcated. These systems are preventing
campus leaders from gaining the insights they need.
There's a challenge in getting data in a timely fashion,
and it's very difficult to drive standard business processes, which, of course, creates a lot of inefficiencies. On the IT side, you have departments focusing a
lot of their time on maintenance-just trying to keep
the trains running versus driving innovation.
Schools are focusing on the student experience
and making sure that students are getting the education they need, that they're being successful academically, that they're employable when they come
out of school. Related to that is the reputation that

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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of University Business January 2018

University Business January 2018 - Cover1
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University Business January 2018 - 1
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