It’s not a dream: 4 very real reasons why now is the time for transformative technology


I can’t believe it happened again, after so many years. I was walking down the corridor, along with a crowd of others moving in the same direction, when I realized my last final exam was going to take place in a few minutes and I didn’t know where the classroom was. And I had missed the assignments leading up to the final…


And then I woke up. So grateful once again that it was only a dream. I graduated many years ago from The Ohio State University (go Bucks!), and never once forgot to go to class for an entire semester or realized suddenly that I had forgotten to do all homework for a class. But boy does that dream feel real.

My real experience in college did have unsettling moments as I first landed in a giant university (with more than 40,000 other students) in a city 500 miles from home. I didn’t know what I was to become in the next four years—the only thing I was certain of was that I loved to read and probably should study writing. But honestly, amidst the flurry of new processes to follow, paperwork to submit, classes to schedule and dorm living to learn, I felt really lucky.

I had a path to follow—nebulous as it seemed at the beginning—and as I navigated my new world, I discovered peers, instructors and advisors to guide me along the way.

Fast-forward to the new millennium, where I work at Hyland, creator of OnBase, and I have the opportunity to work with strategic leaders in higher education—both colleagues and customers.

I now understand the environment that nurtured me in the OSU English department in the 1990s didn’t happen by accident. The driving, motivational force at our institutions of higher education is centered on providing the best student experience possible.

But now, as we are about to click over to 2017, the technology that supports this driving force is entering a significant phase.


We are at a point where transformative technology has advanced to be literally at the fingertips and in the pockets of most students. Following are four statistics that illuminate the state of technology from the higher education student perspective.

The EDUCAUSE Center for Analysis and Research (ECAR) Study of Undergraduate Students and Information Technology, 2016—which includes findings from 71,641 undergraduate students from 183 institutions across 12 countries and 37 U.S. states—reports that:

  1. From 2015 to 2016, smartphone ownership increased from 92 percent to 96 percent; in other words, half the students who did not own a smartphone in 2015 now do.
  2. 93 percent of students own a laptop.
  3. Student ownership of wearable technologies (fitness devices, headsets and smartwatches) has increased to 29 percent, an increase of approximately 150 percent since 2015.
  4. 78 percent of students agree that the use of technology contributes to the successful completion of courses.

Students are reaching for, relying upon and even wearing technology with a momentum that indicates how technology supports, elevates and eases successful completion of their endeavors.

Here at Hyland, we understand this. Whether it’s admissions processing, other administrative tasks at the registrar, financial aid verification or in a blended-learning environment—leveraging technology clears the way for students to focus, to find their paths more easily and to free themselves from time-consuming administrative tasks and antiquated study methods.

The right partners, the right technology, the right outcomes

With finite funds for IT spend, and finite resources to design, implement, integrate, support and expand solutions that more effectively connect the student to the institution, finding the right technology partner is essential in order to reach immediate and long-term goals: student success, thought leadership, data management, information security and affordability going forward, just to name a few.

Equally important is a technology platform that has integration capabilities with your SIS and ERP solutions—including Workday and PeopleSoft—that allow a proficient use of data. In order to leverage valuable data at the pace required of technology solutions in higher education institutions, automated workflow management capabilities and case management solutions should be highly configurable, and not depend upon custom coding (and IT resources).

It is people who enable great institutions to do great things. It’s true of your staff of experts, and it’s true of the right technology partners. We believe this at Hyland, where our consultants, solution designers and technical experts have extensive experience creating next-generation, proven technology solutions for higher education, but also have an intrinsic focus to continually learn more and share through collaboration.

This is how you create enterprise solutions that transform realities for departments campus-wide. From students, to staff in critical business areas, to executive decision makers and IT teams, we believe technology should empower the minds in higher education to focus on critical tasks.

When I was an English major in a small department in a giant institution, it was people who helped me find my way, even if it required many hours standing in line to sign up for classes, purchase books at the bookstore, pay tuition and residence hall bills or wait for a computer in the computer lab.

When I think about how much easier it can be today for students and those who support their success, it really does seem like the best kind of dream. Except this transformative reality is within reach of all our fingertips.

As a Content Strategist for Hyland's Global Services, Sarah has a background in business and technical writing and has worked in several areas of the organization since 2003. She has earned several industry certifications along the way—including Microsoft Certified Professional—and has spent time in Solution, Product and Global Services Marketing. Having the opportunity to experience the technical, user-based, enterprise-class and industry-specific areas of Hyland's solutions and services gives Sarah unique insight into the true impact Hyland has on the world. An avid reader and outdoors enthusiast, Sarah enjoys spending time exploring with her Golden-doodle dog Leo and writing about the impactful, inspirational human stories that accompany technology in our evolving, data-driven world.
Sarah Stoner

Sarah Stoner

As a Content Strategist for Hyland’s Global Services, Sarah has a background in business and technical writing and has worked in several areas of the organization since 2003. She has... read more about: Sarah Stoner