So, what’s holding back the deluge of ERP change for many institutions?
I believe that the flood gates will open when cloud providers can prove that they have a fully functional student information system that has been thoroughly tested. Higher education is not an industry that likes to be on the bleeding edge of technology. It takes time and a network of national technology leaders to build confidence in a new solution. At E&I, we’ve built a coalition of higher education CIOs and CPOs across the United States to give guidance and feedback to these solution providers trying to build software and restore confidence within the higher education ERP industry: the E&I National Coalition on Enterprise Systems & Services. This group of leaders will give honest and clear direction to solution providers and work to guide an industry that has been stuck in a business model born in the early 1980s. The HESS Consortium has been working to do this with all of its ERP vendor partners for several years now with some good success with many major providers.
Standing Still Is Not an Option
No matter what happens with these “legacy” solution providers, higher education has never been a market space that is prone to standing still. The progress may be slow — sometimes painfully slow — but I believe most institutions see the writing on the wall. When the major “cloud-native” solutions have fully functional and tested student information systems in production, the smoke may turn into a fire.
I recently read a good article by Elizabeth Quirk in Solutions Review titled “The Best Benefits of Cloud ERP,” which gives a great synopsis of the benefits of cloud ERP solutions and makes a concise and convincing case for cloud-native applications. The real question is: Do all CIOs see these benefits, or will they continue to see cloud-enabled solutions viable in the face of the costs involved with replacement and migration to cloud-native solutions? Many have made the jump and I believe that many more are in the wings.
The nonprofit organizations I work with are collaborating with leading companies on new ways to make the move to cloud solutions more manageable and affordable for our member institutions. By using cohort groups and collaborative contracts from organizations like E&I and HESS, their members can be the catalyst in bringing the future to colleges and universities stuck in the rut of legacy ERP solutions. The clock is ticking, and the future will be made on the strategic decisions and vision of “legacy” ERP providers as well as the current cloud-native solutions. As the Latin proverb goes, “fortune favors the bold!” The coming two years will reveal which are the companies with new and innovative ideas and which are the companies stretching out the same old solutions for the long haul.
Do you see your ERP solution provider as a cloud innovator, a follower or a legacy maintainer? What do you think your solution provider should do to renew or re-create a new vision for their software?
Source: Campus Technology