IT teams in higher education have always had to do a lot with a little. Thanks to the new costs and constraints created by COVID-19, these teams face more pressure than ever to accomplish more with less. To make this work, IT leaders in academia have invest strategically in tools that not only fall within their budgets and meet immediate needs but that will generate ROI for their institutions over time – ideally starting as soon as possible.
In a recent webinar and new Playbook developed with Kivuto, Education Dive examined one way academic IT leaders can achieve this kind of ROI: by optimizing the management of digital resources. With the right platform and the support of an experienced third party, institutions can start earning ROI in as little as 30 days – all while providing a smoother experience for students and educators.
Let’s look at some of the ways in which this approach to managing digital resources can generate ROI for academic institutions, both immediately and in the long term.
Schools can expect to see a return on their investment almost immediately after adopting an effective solution for managing digital resources. Within the first month or so, these returns are mostly derived from the automation and offloading of work.
The right tools for managing digital resources can take an enormous amount of work off IT’s plate. Self-serve access to software eliminates the need to manually distribute bits and keys. Automating the enforcement of business rules reduces risk to institutions as well as IT workloads. Solutions that include third-party support save IT even more time. At one German university, offloading end-user support around accessing software led to 250 fewer support tickets for IT within half a year.
This goes beyond saving billable hours. It creates cost savings through efficiency and by freeing up IT for more valuable work. Most IT teams in education have a years-long backlog of projects that could help their institutions operate more efficiently and cost-effectively. With end-user support offloaded and resource-management tasks automated, these teams can shift their focus to those value-adding initiatives.
The immediate benefits described above are just the beginning. An effective solution for managing digital resources can generate greater ROI the longer it’s used.
The most notable long-term benefits come from insights into campus-wide buying patterns. Visibility into software adoption rates can enable institutions to make smarter purchasing decisions, avoid shelfware, and negotiate more effectively with vendors. A good digital resource management solution can provide a single source of truth for such valuable data.
A more difficult benefit to measure is how these solutions reduce risk to institutions. In part, this is another positive effect of automation – taking tasks with a high risk of human error off of human shoulders can prevent costly problems. On top of that, unlike most solutions developed in house, a good third-party solution for managing digital assets incorporates privacy and security by design. Though this may not generate ROI on a day-to-day basis, a secure solution can save schools the huge costs of data breaches and noncompliance penalties.
It’s IT’s Time
Current circumstances have made it more critical than ever for institutions to optimize how they manage digital resources. The shift to online learning has complicated the task of providing access to these resources. The financial costs of COVID-19 have resulted in budget cuts and created an urgent need to optimize costs and maximize ROI.
The good news is that this makes it the perfect time for IT to push for positive changes at their institutions. The COVID-19 crisis has shone a spotlight on the critical role of IT in education and given CIOs a more prominent voice with which to advocate for IT investments. And to generate both immediate and incremental ROI while streamlining the delivery of remote education, an effective solution for managing digital resources is one of the smarter investments they can push for.
This post was based on highlights from the Playbook
Optimizing Digital Resource Management in Higher Education: A 30-60-90-Day Path to ROI
(produced by Education Dive in partnership with Kivuto).