Optimizing the cloud on college campuses

In the competitive world of admissions, you don’t want your recruitment strategy defined by the same webinar that everyone else has already attended. This last five percent— that typically is identified after the first year of use—makes all the difference.

What Does it All Look Like?

While no two cloud-based implementations are—or should be—alike, an optimized implementation would look something like this: inquiry, application, test score, and miscellaneous data feeds are designed, implemented, hosted, and supported by the vendor.

In addition to the robust, remotely hosted database, sophisticated communications vehicles are executed against the system with minimal extracts or interfaces. Reporting—in particular that which monitors operational progress—is available within the same environment, allowing counselors, along with mid and upper-level managers, to monitor outcomes and track anomalies on a daily basis.

Document management and web-based application status checks should be part of the offering, allowing human resources to be focused on personal contact and support.

There should be a significant return on ROI, measured both in tangibles such as reduced temporary staffing and repurposed space, but also in job satisfaction, employee retention, and improved student satisfaction. Most importantly, you should have the confidence that your vendor/partner has the aptitude to keep your operation on the cutting-edge next year—and ten years from now.

Your Feet on the Ground—Your Process in the Cloud

With the maturity of cloud-based service, the nature of implementation and optimization is rapidly changing. Don’t let the common sense appeal of cloud-based solutions blind you to the nuances of process enhancement, creative solutions, and long-term commitment that should be the true hallmark of your effort.

The more commonplace cloud solutions become, the more these attributes will become key differentiators. With a cloud-based product, you are, in a sense, positioning your organization to break free of a number of vendor-imposed constraints once considered unavoidable.

To highlight one example, you may encounter pricing models for cloud services that are different and often more flexible than traditional software packages. Work closely with the vendor to be certain which model is best for your institution.

In today’s recruitment market, the extent to which an institution demonstrates personalization, agility, and resonance distinguishes it from its competitors. Students are technically savvy. Their perceptions are shaped by their virtual experiences, and that trend will only increase with every new application they download from the cloud.