With the publication of Tambellini’s 2020 Financial Management and Human Capital Management Systems US Higher Education Market Share, Trends, and Leaders Report, many institutions can benefit from the in-depth view of the finance and HCM technology selections across the higher education landscape. However, community colleges can draw specific insights from the report’s information and help guide their technology strategies moving forward.
While not mutually exclusive to community colleges, let’s look at some trends that may be affecting this segment of the market and their technology selections.
As budgets constrict and institutions look for ways to gain additional value, more are collaborating around their strategic technology decisions. Opportunities to simplify the enterprise landscape are happening at both the institution and system levels. And there are efforts across unrelated institutions as well, with likely new models arising due to the pandemic.
Institutions are identifying ways to support their core administrative functionality and add-on technology to address their unique needs. At a public community college, the guidelines for finance and HCM are often driven by the state, and consolidation may be necessary as a cost-cutting measure. In some instances, community colleges are combined with other types of institutions and state agencies to simplify administrative systems and consolidation across a state.
Regardless of the view, all institutions are trying to answer the question “how can we do more with less” by considering how to simplify their technology environments, eliminate duplicative products, and potentially consolidate ERP systems, to maximize resources for student learning and engagement.
Many types of institutions wrestle with the decision of a single vendor platform for their ERP or a best-of-breed strategy. Community colleges have unique challenges around this decision due to their often-limited resources and funding, as well as the breadth of their diverse program offerings.
As higher education continues to measure the impact of COVID-19, community colleges cite an increasing concern with the health, safety, and progress of their students.
While many of us will be operating in new environments, the future will likely increase the need for managed services and consortium type approaches to technology at small institutions. As the new landscape continues to evolve, high-valued human engagement will be required for students who are navigating through a new way to learn, a new way to become certified, and a new way to measure progress. Technology and specifically administrative technology will need to operate effectively, efficiently, preserving human capital and resources to focus on enabling student success.
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