Some college students spend 1-5 hours per day on their phone. In a world full of students who have grown up with technology and are digital natives, universities that aren't addressing those digital needs are falling behind. If you want to reach these students successfully, it’s better to meet them where they already are than to endlessly complain about digital addiction.
Students agree that technology is key not just to their social life, but also to their academic life. Yet many institutions of higher learning continue to resist change in the face of technological innovation, clinging to the technology of the past—or worse, reams of paper that are bound to get lost.
The administration at your school may be reluctant to implement higher ed software as a service (SaaS), citing concerns about expense, startup challenges, and security. But the truth is that innovation is critical to institutional success. Indeed, Harvard Business School’s Clay Christensen argues that a failure to innovate will bankrupt half of American colleges and universities in a matter of years.
Don’t let your school be one of them. Keep innovating. Here are the most common objections to higher ed SaaS and how to counter them.
1. It’s Too Expensive
It’s true that higher ed SaaS is an additional expense, at least at first. But like any investment, the startup costs can generate immense value, quickly paying for themselves. With a newer platform, your institution will spend less money on IT and tech support. And with cloud-based software instead of clunky physical servers, your students will encounter less downtime.
Colleges and universities must increasingly compete to recruit the best students. These students can choose between numerous schools. They won’t select the one with the clunkiest technology and most frustrating admissions process. So implementing a more streamlined technological approach can help you compete in a twenty-first century student marketplace. That can mean higher earnings and a greatly improved reputation.
2. It’s Not Secure
Thanks to high-profile cyber attacks, a pervasive myth suggests that cloud technology is less secure than older technologies. The opposite is true. Reliance on physical servers creates an additional target for attacks—and a much easier target than the cloud.
Moreover, most schools that haven’t switched to higher ed SaaS rely on multiple programs and platforms, leaving data in multiple locations. The more storage sites and programs you use, the more vulnerable data becomes to a breach. Collaborating across multiple platforms means juggling multiple passwords, and it creates more opportunities for user error that opens you to a cyber attack. Cloud-based technology reduces security breaches, saving you money and time.
3. It’s Difficult to Use
Switching to new software always requires a bit of extra training for your staff but you’ll gain the ability to streamline and automate various processes, reducing and eliminating paper while allowing students and staff to view all the information they need in one location. Fewer platforms means more transparency and visibility, higher productivity, and less time educating people about how to use your technology.
For students —the people you should be catering to—cloud technology is infinitely easier to access and use. You’ll remove the need for paper or PDF applications, and eliminate multiple confusing and redundant platforms in favor of a single point of contact. Students feel more in control, know exactly where they are in the admissions process, and feel more engaged.
4. Students Don’t Care About Software
If you already have a relatively engaged and successful student body, your administrators might believe that students just don’t care what software you use. The fact that you don’t hear complaints doesn’t mean they don’t exist.
Students don’t want to deal with outages and other technological glitches. Moreover, you might never hear a complaint from the most important students: the ones who chose another school because of your outdated tech. Students desire streamlined processes that don’t waste time or effort, whether they tell you this or not.
5. Transitioning Will Be Difficult
Old habits die hard. Many schools are reluctant to give up outdated technology because of fears about implementation.
Full Fabric makes it easy. We offer great customer service to expedite a seamless transition. And because you’ll have no down time, you’ll rely less on tech support. That makes the transition easier, and it puts the benefits of new technology on immediate display, solidifying the value of your investment.
Full Fabric offers a suite of software to help universities recruit, enroll, and manage students. We’d love to help you streamline your technology and take recruitment to the next level.
Ready to learn more about making the switch to better technology? Check out our guide, Your All-Encompassing Admissions & Enrollment SaaS Platform.