Log in     Support     Status

5 Factors Affecting Digital Transformation in Higher Ed — and How to Overcome Them

by | Dec 16, 2021

Digital transformation offers higher education institutions opportunities to modernize their operations, interdisciplinary approach, and student retention. There are several key factors affecting digital transformation. It’s important for higher education institutions to use dynamic strategies and state-of-the-art automation platforms to overcome these factors to improve the higher education experience.

1. Siloed tech is holding higher ed back.

From the largest networks of state universities to small technical and community colleges, higher ed has a significant amount of silos. Siloed communication is detrimental enough to organizational growth, but siloed tech can exponentially increase inefficiencies in any organization.

Outdated technology typically leads to inefficient processes. When professors need to manually upload information, admissions representatives need to manually send documents to students, and counselors need to manually send reminder emails, the result is a significant amount of wasted time. When various departments, research programs, and administrative services all use antiquated tech, the entire institution can suffer from:

  • Lack of and poor communication
  • Inefficient documentation processes
  • Lack of big data analysis
  • Increased time and energy training on outdated technology

Modern technology allows for digital transformation to affect an entire institution. When a higher ed institution incorporates a support automation platform, like Capacity, the result is a single-source, end-to-end service offering that can help manage and automate workflows throughout the institution.

2. Stable teams can lead to new technology initiatives.

The amount of faculty and staff in higher ed has been constrained in recent years, leading some professionals to report a full-scale understaffing epidemic. Without a consistent, properly staffed team, institutions or even individual departments can’t begin to explore the factors affecting digital transformation.

An early step in implementing digital transformation needs to be stabilizing teams and identifying available resources. Once an institution understands the necessities and knows they are being met, then they can start implementing support automation platforms. Automation can help reduce the workload of administrative professionals, professors, admissions representatives, and other higher ed professionals.

3. Adopting new technology requires university-wide teamwork.

Once an institution chooses a new digital tool or entire automation platform, it’s essential to foster university-wide teamwork during the adoption process. Failure to adopt a new system throughout an entire higher ed institution can result in only surface-level or siloed improvements.

One way an automation platform can help you with this is internal, AI-powered chatbot functionality. This feature can help guide administrative professionals and faculty throughout the onboarding process. Immediate answers to a wide range of questions can streamline the process and minimize time spent in training and adoption.

4. Lack of digital transformation may be restricting recruitment and retention.

One of the major factors affecting digital transformation in higher ed is the slow pace of technological change in the recruitment process. Digital transformation should attract students to higher ed, not turn them away. Here are a few ways that outdated technology may be hindering the recruitment and retention process:

  • Difficulties for students to receive quick, accurate answers
  • Overloaded admissions and student resources professionals
  • Manually sending emails and reminders to students

Support automation platforms, like Capacity, allows for seamless integration with admissions and counseling offices. As students reach out to ask questions, they receive immediate, accurate answers from Capacity. The admissions office can enter information into the knowledge base for Capacity to pull from as it leverages machine learning and AI-powered chatbot functionality. Instead of sending emails to counselors or arranging for admissions meetings, students can receive answers 24/7/365.

Once students enroll in higher ed, they’re likely to continue to have questions about the process. Retaining students is an essential goal for higher education institutions and one that can be accomplished with the help of AI-driven reminders and automated workflows.

These processes work with students and higher ed professionals. For students, it means not worrying about receiving email reminders about important application steps and campus events. It also means enjoying 24/7 chatbot communication to answer any questions.

Higher education professionals can use the same chatbot functionality to stay connected with institution-wide changes. They can also track the workflow of each student, automating any applicable tasks, to help keep students engaged.

5. Digital transformation can aid interdisciplinary student and faculty support.

Service automation tools allow significant inter-departmental communication. Cloud storage gives faculty and other higher ed professionals a unified storage experience for convenient communication.

Faculty can also enjoy AI-driven teaching assistance. Whether teaching online, hybrid classes or in a traditional campus classroom, AI allows professors to automate tasks and make information easily available to help students succeed.

Platforms like Capacity can also analyze big data and transform documents into actionable data. Intelligent Document Processing is a service that extracts data from documents to add to the knowledge base, improve student analytics or make recommendations for future institution actions.

See How Capacity Can Help Overcome Digital Transformation Factors

Request a demo of Capacity to see how to overcome factors affecting digital transformation. Explore the features that improve higher education digital transformation and automate tasks to streamline the experience for students, faculty, and staff.