Campus Services: Moving Campus Portals to the Cloud

September 12, 2016  |  by: Delphina Saragosa
Campus Portal
Cloud Technologies
College Portal
Higher Ed Tech

The time has come not only to surrender to technology, but the time has come to welcome the transition. Why? Because technology is no longer a gimmick, it’s a tool; it makes life easier – not more complicated and expensive.

Many higher education institutions have delayed technology, and many have delayed because the transition seemed to be more work than investment. The why for the delay is irrelevant. Cloud-based campus services are the way-to-go; the why for this is worth our time.

Be a Leader, Not a Follower

If the movement of an industry in general is the impetus to transition existing systems, it’s safe to say it’s reactionary rather than revolutionary. Campuses would be wise to jump to be the leaders in their students’ experience rather than the followers. More specifically, giving the students a digital experience is a concise way to express the direction campus services must go.

Campus portals need to be updated. If campus services aren’t providing mobile-friendly access, cloud-based solutions (for the staff and students), and a Google-like search capability – the need to update was long ago.

The Campus Computing Project released findings that revealed the need to begin transitioning to the could in 2011. In their study, titled – Campus Computing 2011: Big Gains in Going Mobile – they expressed how “new survey data reveal that campuses have been slow to move key operational and research functions to Cloud Computing.”

Additionally, Kenneth C. Green, founding director of The Campus Computing Project, commented that “[t]he campus [Learning Management Services] market remains a textbook example of a mature market with immature, or evolving, technologies, and that’s a prescription for a volatile market.”

The aforementioned volatility alludes to the turbulent reality that could befall institutions not quick to update their campus services via campus portals. Transitioning to cloud-based solutions and mobile-friendly solutions is imperative in order to provide the digital experience referenced earlier, which is the student experience required to remain competitive.

Cloud Campus Services

The first step is admitting there’s a problem. Before there can be a solution, there must be an acceptance of a problem. In an article called – Legacy Technologies and Processes Holding Back Your Student Experience? – by Tracy Skochil, she writes, “When it comes to students navigating campus services, today’s traditional outdated, cluttered campus portals are anything but intuitive or searchable.”

Clearly, the above excerpt illustrates an industry-wide problem, and problems in our information technology era are exponentially increased with time. An industry relying on the favor of a single audience – aka: graduating students – must remain cutting-edge to earn the respect of their hopeful clients. To simply hang onto existing campus portals as sufficient in our digital era would be a bold gamble.

Campus services can be transitioned seamlessly by implementing cloud-based solutions. Not only does the cloud facilitate the transition of an institution’s existing system, but the cloud also enhances the students’ experience – a two-for-one benefit via the cloud. Now, how to implement the solution, specifically?

Update University Portals with OneCampus by rSmart

Campus Technology featured an article by Mary Grush titled – Moving Campus Services from the Portal to the Cloud. The format of the article was driven by a Q&A with John Robinson – co-founder of rSmart. The Q&A delves into the various things impacting the Higher Education Technology industry, or Higher Ed Tech as it’s commonly referred to. In addition, John Robinson provides insight into how rSmart’s OneCampus revitalizes outdated university portals and gets institutions in harmony with the digital experience students demand.

In regard to the functionality of OneCampus, John describes how existing systems don’t have to be overhauled, but simply integrated with OneCampus. John describes how “[t]he search system goes into the existing data spaces, allowing users to have a much simpler experience finding the information they need. This will replace the more complex process of using portals. Portals have done a nice job, but over the years, they’ve gotten quite “heavy” – with OneCampus, it doesn’t have to be that way.”

Further, “[p]art of its simplicity is that it is cloud-based, and we think that’s where the nature of providing services is heading in general. We think that OneCampus is right in its construction and architecture, a departure at last for institutions, from the complex and heavy IT-oriented systems of the past.” As far as the departure from heavy IT-oriented systems, John reveals “[OneCampus] is designed so that data owners can make these changes themselves, without going back to the vendor or even involving the IT department.”

Next Article
Higher Ed Tech: The Future of Campus Services
September 22, 2016 by Delphina Saragosa