The education sector in India is poised for stupendous growth. Increasing demand for quality education has lead to increase in number of institutions. With competition came complexity in managing the institutions.
Apart from imparting education, they have to manage various activities like student placements, marketing their institute, managing internal operations especially if they are offering wide range of courses, managing finances, managing resource constraints, coordinating with regulatory authorities, tackling competition etc. A large staff is required to take care of such functions. Most institutions use a mix of paper records and Excel sheets to manage the large volume of administration information. Inaccessibility of previous data, inefficiency in maintenance and unconnected data management are some of the problems faced by them.
One of the major problems an institute faces is the utilization of internal resources like rooms and faculty. Infrastructure for an educational institute requires huge investment. Institutions are trying to expand their reach without increasing their capital expenditure. Quite a few educational institutes run multiple courses simultaneously. They are trying to put their infrastructure to maximum use by allowing others to utilize instead of keeping it idle. In such a scenario, planning and scheduling of resources becomes important.
Technology can help them utilize resources in an optimal way. So far institutes have adopted technology only in imparting knowledge. Yet we notice that not many institutes adopt technology to handle their internal operations. There are apprehensions about adoption and its costs. In most cases technology adoption is limited to financial operations. This outlook is changing as some institutes are willing to look at ERP packages to address their requirements.
Traditional software still requires upfront investment and continuous upgradation and maintenance. This is where SaaS based applications have an edge. The benefits offered include:
No upfront investment required for procuring software or hardware
No need of maintenance or upgradation at the users’ end
Accessible 24×7 from anywhere
Data is highly secure at centralized servers
Easily scalable and does not involve additional costs
No limit on number of users
The downside is that there might not be too much of customization possible for the application, though some amount of configuration is allowed. Institutes have to adjust their internal processes a little bit to fit in the software. Since the institutes did not need standardization of their processes till a couple of years ago, the amount of change required to adopt the software is expected to be minimal.
Considering the benefits offered, educational institutes are open to adopting technology to help them manage their resources.