The time is now for higher ed to embrace the cloud

Will the current shift to virtual learning be a short-term or long-term trend?

While we don’t know the answer to that question yet, it’s a good thing that colleges and universities are becoming more and more comfortable with cloud-based systems.

The reasons higher education has embraced the cloud are just like any other industry. Accelerated value, reduced risks, and a decreased responsibility of in-house data maintenance are all classic reasons why any organization would want to utilize cloud-based systems.

But using the cloud to remove the burdens and costs of maintaining antiquated infrastructure also gives IT staff the time and resources to focus on higher-value goals like improving the student experience and ramping up virtual learning programs. It also makes it easier for any staff member to work remotely by providing end users with intuitive experiences on any browser or device.

Because of this, the options and choices relating to cloud technology have expanded significantly. Nearly every software technology provides a cloud offering and there are often several options available for each.

But if you’re a Hyland customer and operating one of our content services platforms such as OnBase or Perceptive Content, what is it specifically about the Hyland Cloud that is going to impact and improve your solution?

Many solutions, many areas

In thinking about this question I came up with a few answers. But before diving into those, it is important to remember that we develop the OnBase and Perceptive Content platforms to deliver campus solutions – plural.

It may be, in fact it is likely, that your institution initially worked with us to deliver one solution for a specific department. But the value in content services is not one-dimensional, and like a student information system, our solutions can impact many areas on campus.

It’s not uncommon to see ambitious institutions take the ball and run, implementing dozens and dozens of solutions along the way. Each time a new solution goes live, it delivers more value to the institution, whether through process efficiency, improved student service, better accountability, etc…

In addition, this helps reduce reliance on overlapping point solutions and data fragmentation. Meanwhile, administrators have simple, configurable tools that empower them to easily build solutions and integrations with core applications. By giving systems the ability to share data, end users focus on students instead of searching for information.

This value exists whether hosting your solutions on-premises or in the cloud. However, if you are considering hosting in the Hyland Cloud, there are three very specific benefits that impact OnBase and Perceptive customers that go above and beyond the significant value that is already synonymous to cloud-based systems.

More frequent releases, easier upgrades

First, since both OnBase and Perceptive are robust, versatile, and can address dozens of solutions across campus, by moving to the Hyland Cloud, all of those solutions move along with it.

This is a Captain Obvious statement, but think about the impact for an institution that has implemented Hyland solutions in two dozen departments, for example.

That’s not one solution that is moving to the Hyland Cloud – that’s 24 solutions now on the receiving end of the same benefits and value. In other words, if you’re looking for a way that a cloud strategy can have a significant impact, Hyland stands out because of scale, especially if you already have many solutions deployed.

But don’t take my word for it.

“Leveraging cloud-first technology enables us to provide more frequent product releases, along with a more streamlined upgrade process, so you don’t have to wait to get on the best, latest version,” said Bill Priemer, president and CEO at Hyland.

On the other hand, if you don’t have many solutions deployed yet, a move to the Hyland Cloud will help your institution get to a faster ROI because you can stand up solutions faster in a hosted infrastructure versus one that is managed on-prem.

Preventative accountability

Second, due to the scale and number of Hyland solutions that are possible, the need for preventative accountability increases. Should something bad happen to the on-campus data center (these things do happen), the need to ensure minimal downtime increases with each solution.

Functional offices and users expect their IT departments to have a contingency plan to minimize disruption. This expectation increases for systems when there are multiple solutions associated with one application. By placing Perceptive or OnBase in the Hyland Cloud, an institution is covering multiple bases (solutions) at once.

By moving to the Hyland Cloud, you get a full suite of safety and security features, including disaster recovery, data availability, incident response, geographical disbursement, and access to experts. With secure data centers around the world, our private cloud delivers 99.99 percent uptime and availability.

Meanwhile, our seasoned team of cloud professionals is available 24/7/365 to provide you with oversight on governance, risk, compliance, security, network and infrastructure, database services, and support.

Established experience and expertise

Third, effectively staffing your Perceptive or OnBase system is both a science and an art. Something that rings consistently true for both platforms is that the system administrators need to be intelligent, flexible, and creative. There is a fair amount of training that is required to be an effective OnBase or Perceptive administrator, because the platforms are so powerful.

Many of our customers recognize this and understand the effort required to replace those talented administrators, should they advance along their career paths.

A way of inoculating against a lapse in experience is to host your system in the Hyland Cloud for a few reasons. This increases how quickly new Hyland administrators can become effective. It also widens the pool of future candidates if hardware/infrastructure responsibilities play a smaller role for the job. And, as I mentioned earlier, moving to the cloud takes a significant amount of the burden off your IT department.

There are also services Hyland can provide that will help to bridge the gap should your Hyland administrator find themselves considered for a promotion, approaching retirement, or simply wearing more hats.

The future is here

While we don’t know what campuses will look like in the fall, one thing is for certain. Behind the scenes, forward-looking institutions will be relying a lot less on on-premises infrastructure and a lot more on the cloud.

That’s why now is the time to look to the cloud. Your ends users, IT staff, and most importantly, your students will all give you an A+.

Andy Dierks has helped colleges and universities improve business processes through technology since 2006, when he joined Perceptive Software, which is now a part of Hyland. Prior to Perceptive, he worked as an advisor at the University of Kansas and as a campus recruiter for McKinsey & Company. Outside of work he enjoys traveling with his family, reading fiction, and listening to 1980s post-punk. He resides in Lawrence, Kansas.
Andy Dierks

Andy Dierks

Andy Dierks has helped colleges and universities improve business processes through technology since 2006, when he joined Perceptive Software, which is now a part of Hyland. Prior to Perceptive, he... read more about: Andy Dierks