News and Innovation from Oracle UK and Ireland

Higher education plans for an uncertain future

By Philip Craig, Sales Development Manager, UK Public Sector

Read time: two minutes

There is no doubt that higher education leaders must confront complex and far-reaching questions. What will be the duration and scale of the disruption caused by social distancing? Will blended learning become the new normal? To what extent will student numbers fluctuate? Will government invest in universities and research at the same level? And what will be the consequences for university finances?

These challenges present an opportunity to refocus efforts on how cloud can deliver the most value for higher education. The high costs of maintaining ageing legacy systems, coupled with the requirement to staff data centre, makes the immediate cost savings an attractive motive for a move to cloud. Over the longer term, the benefit of cloud then becomes how an organisation can break down silos, achieve organisational insights, and tap into a stream of innovation that can achieve sustainable gains in efficiency and effectiveness.

For example, when Durham University moved its data centres to the cloud, efficiencies were immediately generated when expensive legacy systems and labour-intensive spreadsheet-based solutions were replaced. And in establishing a single version of the truth when forecasting students and budgeting, the university gained the ability to create multiple scenarios for planning recruitment and facilities construction. This capability has been vital as the University adapted to the volatility and uncertainty of the last six months.

This may also be the time for universities to consider shared services, particularly as funding for the higher education sector will come under pressure. It is incumbent on the sector to reduce costs, including where they can work together, in administrative services such as finance, human resources and procurement. And looking beyond the immediate cost savings, the potential upside is more resilient organisations, as universities and other public services adopt best practice processes, improve the speed of information dissemination and enhance the team’s customer focus.

In moving to the cloud or a shared services model, there are often concerns about any upfront investment before any savings are realised. Oracle seeks to address this issue through a range of flexible payment solutions. We have a team of financial experts, that can guide you through the various strategies to manage your investments. Using a wide range of licensing and deployment options, they will structure tailored investment plans that match your specific needs.

If you want to know more, about how we are introducing faster and more scalable systems, bringing together applications, improving the working life of university staff and giving a better service to students, then please get in touch.

Find out more about Oracle’s work in the UK public sector here.

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