Why is cloud erp software so popular?
The choice of an education erp is not a minor or routine one, as the efficiency of your school hinges on the software you select.
If you have decided to automate all work processes at your school, or are deciding to upgrade the system already in place, your technical advisor may give you a heads-up on the options before you. It would be tempting to go in for a solution that is economical at first view or one that has been recommended by an in-house expert or again, you may wish to only go with a big brand. While there is nothing wrong in any of these approaches, it is always worthwhile to do some background research so that you make an informed, impartial and well thought-out decision in the best interests of your school.
What can a Cloud-based ERP do for you? If you have been advised to go in for the cloud system, you would naturally like to get an overview of the reasons that make people recommend or invest in the cloud. I will try and outline below what I consider are some valid reasons for investing in a cloud-based system:
It is an economical choice:
- Locally hosted systems suffer from an underlying defect. They require local servers or CPUs which consume electricity, require on-site maintenance and servicing and occupy space. Needless to say, the cost of replacing old or dysfunctional hardware is prohibitive.
- In case of manual operations, schools also spend a lot on stationary (registers, spreadsheets, manual records, receipts, bills, etc.) and administration of paperwork. Even in case of local hosting, the urge to print and save hard copies “just to be safe” is powerful and can cost a pretty penny.
- The cloud is definitely more economical. To begin with, core office applications, push-notifications, communication apps, time-tabling software, online admissions software, payroll management software… could all be an integral part of the all-in-one package good cloud software could provide, at no extra cost. Electricity and maintenance bills would also come down substantially, since you do not need high-data servers /CPUs running on-site 24/7.
- Finally one cannot forget the after-sales service, staff training and cloud data storage and management that would be a true value-addition to the software.
It supports and promotes efficiency:
- Locally-hosted software or manual operations do not liberate teachers from mundane tasks like attendance marking. Administrative staff members are also overwhelmed while poring over Excel spreadsheets, registers and reports. The cloud can be a game-changer in this regard, by automating all routine jobs.
- Cloud based systems allow users accessibility on the go. This is particularly convenient for senior school authorities who may be travelling and need to take data-driven, informed and timely decisions, with just a smart phone in hand.
- Sharing resources, co-authoring papers, preparing lesson plans together, coordinating with other teachers while conducting e-learning sessions… collaboration is a breeze and team-work can be encouraged with the cloud.
- Moreover, since there is no duplication of work, with all staff members on the same page, time and effort thus saved can be channelized more efficiently towards more useful tasks.
- Quicker login times make cloud operations truly seamless. And you can also work offline, since any internet-based device is good enough to access the data.
It protects your data:
- Finally, cloud-hosted data is very safe. Automatic back-ups and a centralized database eliminate the risk of losing data from local servers. Thus, if a laptop or any other device is stolen, the applications and data can be accessed from another device.
- An effective cloud-based system also provides role-based access. Thus, a staff member can only view certain data relevant to his/her department and work. Sensitive data is only accessed by select authorities who can be trusted totally with the data.
- Also, if you are concerned that your data may land up in the wrong hands (in case of a stolen device), you can request the service provider to change your role-based unique login credentials.
So is a cloud-based school management system the best choice for your school? Your requirements should determine if it is. If you do go in for a cloud-based school management system, you can:
- Expect to cut costs in maintenance, energy, paperwork, commute and resources.
- Expect to save on time and gain in efficiency.
- Expect to have total data security.
For you, as a school leader and authority, the ease of access to information and reports and the possibility to scale up your operations smoothly can be significant factors in your choice.
The best choice, ultimately, should meet your requirements and help you enhance learning outcomes for your school exponentially. It is my belief that it is only when the teacher is liberated from the drudgery of mundane jobs that she can dedicate herself totally to her students. Ultimately, it is these students who will take your institute to great heights.
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