Why higher ed needs to go all-in on digital: Research from BCG and GoogleWhy higher ed needs to go all-in on digital: Research from BCG and GoogleHead of Education

As digital capabilities hold the key to dealing effectively with declining enrollment and rising costs, higher ed leaders identified four goals that are critical to improving performance:

  1. Improve the student journey
  2. Increase operational efficiency
  3. Scale computing power in advanced research
  4. Innovate education delivery

The research found that technology investments can help enhance the student journey in the recruiting and retention of students, improving digital education delivery, government funding, and donations from alumni. Digital maturity can make institutions more agile and efficient in delivering education that aligns with the changing societal norms, evolving student preferences, and future disruptions. Survey participants shared that they plan to increase the use of the cloud by more than 50% over the next three years. By shifting legacy IT systems to the cloud, institutions can increase scalability, lower the cost of ownership, and improve operational agility, while offering a more secure, long-term data storage solution.

Cloud-native software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions provide an excellent platform for centralizing data. However, institutions that attempt to “lift and shift” their legacy systems to the cloud may encounter challenges to achieving measurable improvements in data integration and cost reduction. Higher ed leaders must realize that centralizing data and transitioning to the cloud do not happen simultaneously.

Leaders who are able to articulate a strong vision and commitment will experience a more successful technology transformation. By linking their vision to specific needs, such as more effective recruiting, leaders will find their technology investments will have a more substantial return. University presidents should base their decisions about which systems to move, when, and how on desired performance outcomes.

Big visions become a reality with small steps. Small pilot projects are an excellent way to start the journey toward digital maturity. Small steps toward a significant transformation can reduce resistance to change, build positive momentum, and produce better student outcomes. Read the full report here. If you’d like to talk to a Google Cloud expert, get in touch

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