From the LinkedIn Pulse blog of Cole Clark: For decades, the complex systems that make up the "heart and lungs" of a higher education institution (financial systems, HR and payroll systems, and student information systems) have largely been run on campus, with software that could be customized to fit the habits and bespoke business processes of the individual institution. Today, these "on-premise" systems are rapidly becoming a thing of the past, as modern software for these applications are cloud-based and offered "as a Service" (aka SaaS). This brings a wealth of modern capability to heretofore archaic functions (imagine snapping a picture of a receipt with your mobile phone and immediately filing an expense report, or having the location services capability in your mobile device provide a student with directions to the location of class in which they're enrolled), but it also means leveling the playing field and requiring universities to adopt relatively standard business process and leading practice, often from industries outside of higher ed. SaaS can't be customized (thankfully).
Given this reality, it's imperative that universities pay close attention to the change management and user adoption elements of any major system modernization initiative. All to often, this component of the project is sacrificed on the alter of cost-consciousness or speed. As many leaders within the academy who've recently led their institution through one of these projects will tell you, bringing your constituents and stakeholders along for the journey is critical to its success. Hopefully, these seven guiding principles will give rise to more discussion and action on this vitally important topic.