Digital transformation is key for many organisations when it comes to remaining competitive, especially in the today’s turbulent markets. The Education sector is no exception to this; technology can help to attract students, provide an engaging learning environment, and help drive education efficiency.
Having grown up in an age where the internet is everywhere, there is an app-for-everything, and rapid technological change is simply normal, the expectations of students today are high. Fuelled by their experience of social media, online shopping, gaming, and entertainment, students anticipate an innovative and engaging interaction experience. Students also now recognise that they are paying for their education and that they have choices. Because of this shift, they expect to be able to easily compare potential educational options and the learning experiences they offer, before choosing the one that’s right for them.
Education organisations are in search of ways to increase efficiency, better respond to expectations, and increase student engagement using innovative digital technology. With the acceleration of digital transformation, students have come to expect a simple, seamless, omni-channel learning experience. Consequently, the supporting technology must be highly available, resilient, and cost-effective – yet remain secure.
In this blog, we consider five ways that technology and digital transformation can add value and help your educational organisation to innovate:
Student Engagement and Acquisition
Attracting new students and efficiently recruiting them is essential for education organisations. Changes have taken place in the way students apply for Higher and Further Education, and clearing is now a critical process. This takes place in a short window of time, and success or failure can have a profound impact on an educational providers funding. The clearing process is a period of extraordinarily high call volumes, therefore investing in systems that handle calls efficiently and facilitate clear, quick responses is critical. Implementing large scale, highly resilient voice platforms – specifically designed to handle the influx of calls – ensures that lost calls can be minimised, and student recruitment optimised.
In addition, the use of cutting-edge communications technology to simplify contact, expand channels, and provide access to information through apps and websites, can help educational organisations increase student engagement and acquisition.
Managing ICT Costs
Education is a rich environment for the use of technology, but legacy systems, multi-supplier contracts, and funding limitations can result in a transformation backlog and an aging infrastructure. Educational providers can drive operational efficiency and reduce costs by delivering a blend of new ICT and existing infrastructure.
Delivering cost-effective technology that automates repetitive processes and minimises the need for human interaction is essential. Keeping operational costs as low as possible by automating avoidable student, staff, and parent interactions increases overall efficiency. Partnering with a provider that has deep understanding of education requirements, combined with a track record of delivering solutions to the sector and the experience to implement the best technology, is essential for educational organisations.
Providing a rich learning environment which can inspire and help improve the quality of learning is key. Technology can help ensure that students have ‘always-on’ syllabus access, integrated digital information resources, and easy access to tutors. Enabling students to collaborate using a range of tools, including instant messaging, means they can choose the best medium for communications and improves the learning experience overall.
Implementing an immersive and engaging digital learning environment can provide seamless student, lecturer, and staff communication across multiple touch points. Coping with the pace of relentless technological change requires clear strategic vision and an efficient ecosystem of trusted partners, who can work together to provide an efficient and sustainable service.
Educational organisations often hold research data that is commercially sensitive, as well as personal student information. A breach of security is therefore not only problematic but can have large reputational impacts and undermine student confidence. Utilising cloud-based network security, intrusion protection, and virus detection can ensure protection from cyber security threats including viruses, hacking, piracy, and DDoS attacks.
Partnering with an organisation that has extensive experience of protecting information by implementing security solutions from a wide range of vendors can help mitigate risk and reduce cost.
Whatever technology challenges you are facing, help is at hand. Maintel has experience of integrating and deploying innovative products, to help education organisations improve the student experience. We can help you to create a digital transformation roadmap. From small to large projects, we can audit your current technology, design innovative solutions and create a practical deployment plan to realise your digital vision.
You may find our recent webinar discussing the Cloud University: rethinking higher education as we know it, of interest, click here.
For further insights into student acquisition and how to tackle potential churn concerns, read more here. Or, if you are keen to learn more about what Maintel can do to support your digital transformation journey, learn more about our Education Solutions.