Cloud based ERP in Education – Scope, Advantages and Future

The education sector in Asian countries has witnessed a massive growth in terms of the number of institutes and students in the past few decades. The associated policies and procedures related to various educational functions like admission, teaching, interaction and examination have grown manifold and been streamlined. Also, it has been seen that the information technology tools have offered quite promising solutions to enable effective management of these functions.

This trend has induced a growing need in schools and academic institutions to use technology that delivers effective management solutions. Enterprise resource planning (ERP) is one such tool.

Scope of ERP in India

According to the latest report by Gartner, the software as a service or SaaS-based ERP solution is expected to grow at 28% CAGR. Wherein, the public cloud services market in India is growing at 29.8% in 2014 to total USD 550 million.

Spending on SaaS will hit USD 218 million in 2014, growing 30.3% from 2013 through 2014. Gartner predicts that from 2013 through 2017, USD 4 billion will be spent on cloud services in India and SaaS is the largest overall cloud market segment.

Why integration of ERP is justified?

The integration of the ERP system in the educational institutions is completely justified because of the increasing requirement for centralised access to data. The need to optimise resources leading to better scheduling of staff members also leads to the incorporation of the ERP system. Some basic and apparent advantages of the ERP solution are little or no capital investment to get started, very high return on investment, reduction in manpower resources, etc.

Challenges Ahead

Major challenges that we face are on the school front. Availability of a good and consistent internet connection & its access to teachers & administration is a major concern. Also, parents in Tier II & Tier III cities are not that tech savvy as compared to Tier I and 60% of our customers are based out in non-metro cities.

Switching to cloud based ERP makes sense

The cloud-based ERP systems are now taking over the traditional methods of managing data and processes because of its various advantages such as:

–  provide enhanced data storage capacity, security and control.

– give a real-time access from anywhere and helps in quick, yet well-informed decision making.

– reduce upfront investments in IT hardware and servers, without worrying about dedicating significant personnel resources to managing it.

– are usually fast and easy to install than on-site deployments. Also, maintenance is much easier

– most importantly, with cloud technology, product enhancements are painless, customisations and integrations automatically update with system upgrades which assure that the business is running with the most advanced capabilities.

With an increasing number of big corporate houses entering the educational sector, the school management process itself has undergone a paradigm shift in the last few years. Most importantly, a lot of these practices are being implemented to optimise the resources available at the school.

There are a lot of model schools taking a lot of help from these technologies to upgrade their education system. Some of the schools which use ERP solutions are: Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan: Kochi, Himali Boarding School: Kurseong, Navy Children High School: Mumbai, Modern Convent School: New Delhi, GRD Academy: Dehradoon.

About the author: Beas Dev Ralhan, is currently the CEO of Next He has worked across countries (UK, USA, India, Gibraltar) with multi-cultural, multi-national and multi-lingual teams. An avid open source software movement enthusiast, Beas is a management graduate from London Business School.

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