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Higher Learning Institutions Increasingly Turning to Short Term High Tech Staffing to Meet Evolving IT Needs

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Universities and higher education institutions around the country are constantly faced with new and challenging issues in the ever changing world of technology and data management. Developing an organizational model to accommodate the changing IT environment, and facilitate openness is necessary to meet the demands of increasingly complex federal, state and local oversight of these institutions, along with continually evolving IT needs, and the staff that supports them.

Retiring Old and Complex Data Processes

As new technologies emerge, which will undoubtedly result in cost-savings and improved overall efficiency, IT departments in large universities are challenged with consolidating and upgrading their infrastructure, while minimizing the operational impact the changes will have on the institution and their current platform.

Government and State Legislation Creates Need for Efficient Source of Data

Aside from emerging technologies, changes in state legislation and civil law throughout the nation have increased the burden on state universities to produce records in timely manner. There is a need for a cost-efficient common source of shared data, and existing systems may lack a coordinated approach, resulting in inconsistent compliance and widely varying records retention practices.

Government agencies monitor activities, and penalties for violating laws and regulations are often severe.  Universities must emphasize compliance with these laws and regulations. Compliance relies on comprehensive student information systems that manage the student lifecycle from recruiting and admissions, through student services and alumni relations.

Powerful Student Information Systems and their HUGE Impact on Higher Education Institutions

One trending, common infrastructure change is a shift to large versatile and powerful university ERP suites to manage the complex student life cycle. These applications are the answer to reducing storage costs and legal liability. Some of their attractive features are as follows:

Shared Common Database – Captures all prospect, applicant, student, alumni, and organizational data, then secures it, tracks it, and delivers what you need upon request.
Academic Advisement – Gives students and faculty timely access to academic records and reports.
Streamlined Processes – Student administration and registration, account management and financial aid, academic services, and regulatory reporting, reducing error, costs, and employee frustration.
Efficient Handling and Reporting of Finances – Resulting in better forecasting and budgeting.

Migration of a current platform to a new application requires a strategy that provides a roadmap for requirement’s gathering, design, installations, configurations, testing and training. These solutions do not need to come at a cost. With an expert staff supporting the institution throughout the transition, these efficient systems will provide the organization with the most cost-efficient, consolidated use of their data.

Universities Turning to Staffing to Support New Technology

As large ERP/LMS systems are implemented to meet information and compliance needs, they often require a level of support that university IT organizations often do not have on hand.

An article published by Educause, highlights IT Staffing Model changes as the Number 4 IT issue facing higher learning organizations. Author Susan Grajek highlights that universities are increasingly turning to IT staffing to support stressed IT organizations. Susan states that “IT organizations are learning to take advantage of any opportunity to shift and retrain resources as the landscape changes, including leveraging temporary contract workers for specific initiatives.”

The University IT team must set strategy, and engage the needed talent in order to be agile, and respond quickly to changing IT needs to keep costs down. High-tech and skilled staff augmentation are needed to implement the systems, and also for reporting, security, and networking that campuses need to stay current and meet the increasing technological needs of students, as well as stay compliant with state and federal legislation.

Turning to IT staff augmentation is often the best option for most institutions to ensure their new initiatives are carried out by an expert staff with the least amount of impact on their current operations.