The past year has put the higher education industry to the test. The onset and continuation of the COVID-19 pandemic has required a massive operational shift that many institutions were not prepared for, and schools have had to pivot quickly to make sure that systems and staff alike are as well-prepared as possible to exist in a now predominantly virtual environment.
Perhaps the biggest lesson we’ve learned so far is that higher education institutions must increase their resiliency and agility in order to meet evolving staff and student needs.
Move to the cloud
With the school year well underway, we’re clearly seeing that some institutions were better prepared than others to handle a crisis on the scale of COVID-19. Those already operating on a modern cloud platform have exhibited a much greater degree of institutional agility and have had a much easier time transitioning to virtual operations.
These schools found themselves better able to address challenges such as managing large-scale communications with students around adjusted admissions and enrollment processes and deadlines, as well as collaborating across departments. For example, instead of updating its operational systems every 10 years, Boise State University is able to update on a quarterly basis, making the systems far more agile in an ever-changing landscape. This shift also enabled the university to more easily manage its systems remotely, which is obviously a huge advantage.