Educational institutions have benefited greatly by adopting technology in their operations. Now the trend is to offer courses online and thus reach out to global audience. Virtual universities, education portals, online courseware are some of the trends that are catching up in digitization of education. These trends give institutes greater reach in terms of offering their courseware.
Initially institutions adopted technology to run their operations smoothly. Enhancing the productivity of their administrative resources was the main aim. Lately, technology is being used to support their offline courses by providing a connectivity platform between students and faculty or to provide a global reach to their courseware. What has added to the appeal of online education trend is that no physical infrastructure is needed to disseminate the knowledge.
Extensive technical support is required to create and maintain such software infrastructure. Most universities rely on external vendors to provide them with the needed infrastructure. Few institutes have an in-house team which puts a strain on their finances and resources.
SaaS based softwares offer a viable solution to such institutes. The advantages include:
¨ Subscription based model as opposed to a license fee, which greatly reduce costs
¨ Maintenance free since it is taken care of by the vendor
¨ Service continuity and accessibility since no hardware infrastructure needs to be put in place and maintained by institutes
¨ Free continuous updates
In India, a large part of the digitization of education is driven by e-commerce goals. The industry is becoming increasingly learner centric and the trends suggest that market demand will force many more institutions to adopt technology to offer a flexible learning process.