2. Insights to predict enrollment and hiring trends: Community colleges experience more enrollment volatility than other higher education institutions, as their student base can change drastically from one semester to another. This makes it harder for their leadership to predict enrollment trends and plan and model appropriate budgets for the fiscal year. Cloud systems can aggregate all of this data and more accurately forecast enrollment trends to help colleges budget for annual costs and proactively prepare for future enrollment.

Additionally, cloud technology helps to monitor a community college’s largest cost driver – personnel expenses – including salaries, benefits and payouts for tenured professors, their most valuable asset. EPM cloud platforms help college planners account for current salaries, while tracking and predicting student headcount that will dictate needs for future positions. The data analysis delivered via the cloud allows colleges to react to their current financial environment, while also looking ahead and planning for the future.

3. Reduced IT time and spending: Sadly, IT departments at community colleges can be overlooked. This can leave a critical function understaffed and bogged down in time-consuming manual reporting tasks instead of focusing on the value-adding aspects of their jobs. As a self-contained solution that is managed by a provider rather than the college, EPM cloud platforms free up valuable time for IT departments to focus on innovation, as opposed to updating and integrating technology infrastructure. The cloud also minimizes the cost of upgrading and maintaining legacy hardware, while simultaneously providing improved functionality and security as the fiscal needs of higher education continue to evolve.

Cloud technology now makes it possible for community colleges to benefit from advanced financial systems at a reasonable cost. With sophisticated modeling and reporting provided by cloud-based EPM solutions, college administrative staff can shift their focus from manual tasks to focus on more strategic efforts, providing a more sustainable enrollment model to better support students for years to come.

About the Author:

Hari Sankar is group vice president for EPM product management at Oracle.


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