Charp, Sylvia, T H E Journal (Technological Horizons In Education)
The installation and management of administrative systems to meet the growing needs of educational systems are requiring more sophisticated knowledge than has been needed in the past. Online technologies and applications, such as data warehousing and portals, are used to manage students and resources more efficiently. Users are more demanding in their requirements. They expect services such as:
* Easy-to-use information systems
* Immediate accessibility to information resources
* Capability of information-sharing and cooperation with off-campus users
* Network security
* Proper maintenance of network facilities
* Universal interfaces with other systems
The adoption of e-commerce applications and the use of e-business strategies are considered. For example, in the Educause Quarterly article, "Prepare your Campus for Business" (volume 25, number 2, 2000), the writers identify four strategies used at Pricewaterhouse Coopers, which they believe are relevant for all industries, including higher education. They list those strategies as "presence, integration, transformation and convergence."
The presence strategy creates a place on the Internet that describes the educational institution and includes lists of courses, services, online purchasing procedures, catalogs, etc. In the integration stage, the institution reaches beyond its own walls, linking with funding agencies, vendors, subcontractors, etc. The writers state that online student services, alumni communication and online procurement and payment for supplies are bound to improve services and reduce costs. During the transformation stage, strategic partnerships are formed. Finding the "best" vendors becomes a challenge. The convergence strategy recognizes the trend of other industries that are catering to the learning environment. Training companies, publishers, software vendors and hardware manufacturers are re-examining their capabilities as they converge into the learning industry.
Educational institutions are re-examining their own capabilities and management techniques. The outsourcing of some of the administrative functions is becoming more common so that institutions are able to better use their own expertise and resources. …