Higher education has been a major talking point for years now, whether it is in regard to the impending skills gap that is bearing down on industries in the private sector, the costs of attending college or otherwise. Officials in government, business leaders and advocacy groups have all been working out strategies to improve education in the United States while driving down expenses for students, as the nation has roughly $1 trillion in school debt currently.
However, while these other parties are discussing what can and should be done to reduce expenditures and drive the quality of education, universities and colleges have plenty of options to get the ball rolling more quickly. For example, many of the advanced technologies that are helping the private sector become more efficient and productive, including business process management automation tools, can have the same positive impacts in schools.
Transparency, a lack of waste and increased speed of service delivery can go a long way in driving the effectiveness of high education establishments, and automation technology might represent the single greatest vehicle toward achieving these goals. For the purposes of a major technology implementation, higher education leaders should first look into the prospect of incorporating business process automation software that will at once improve productivity and reduce costs.
Efficiency certainly needed
The Illinois News Network recently reported that the state's Board of Higher Education has proposed the creation of a task force that would be completely focused on evaluating efficiency throughout colleges and universities. The goal would be to see where resources can be used a bit more efficiently and effectively in higher education, which ties back into the conversation regarding efficiency and optimal spend management.
When looking across industries and sectors, the reduction of waste at all costs has been a major theme for years now, as this is one of the best ways to ensure that the overhead is as low as possible, boosting profits as a result. According to the news provider, more advanced budget cuts are expected to strike Illinois higher education substantially in the next fiscal year and, while the board did speak against the reduction, it did note that efficiency gains are there to be had.
"Can we still become more efficient and effective despite all we've done to accommodate a billion dollar cut? Yes we can," Dr. James Applegate, the executive director of the Illinois Board of Higher Education, affirmed. "But we can't efficient out way to where Illinois needs to be."
The source noted that budget cuts will indeed have a negative impact on some of the efficiency initiatives that were in the pipeline, but that this is something that will simply need to be dealt with given the finality of the Governor's Office's decisions.
In comes BPA
Business process automation can be an exceptionally helpful solution for any type of organization that needs to at once spend less on operational management and increase efficiency. By leveraging a proven solution from a reliable vendor, higher education facilities will be able to more seamlessly review and automate routing and retention of admissions, track grant writing processes, streamline human resources and simplify accounts payable.
BPA will also reduce processing time, strengthen the consistency when applying business rules and procedures, support compliance initiatives and enhance accountability – all of which are worthy endeavors for higher education organizations. At the end of the day, leveraging more advanced automation technology can be just the medicine higher education needs to get over its current challenges and reach more efficient operations down the road.