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Getting down to business

In today’s competitive and cost-conscious higher education arena, colleges and universities must begin implementing information management strategies if they want to thrive.
University Business, October 2013

In her capacity as education program strategist for Laserfiche, Linda Ding has worked with universities and colleges across the country helping them implement more efficient information-management processes. Agile Campus spoke with Ding about what institutions can do to meet this objective while honing their competitive edge.

Agile Campus: There has been a real push, both internally and externally, for institutions of higher education to become more businesslike in their operations. Ideally, what does this look like?

Linda Ding: Ultimately, you want to ensure that the bottom line is met. This means you have to run the organization efficiently, optimize staff productivity, operate transparently, and respond in a timely way to student needs. To make this happen, your staff needs immediate access to information. If you don’t get information to your staff fast enough, you’ll be left behind. These are the fundamentals of operating in a more businesslike way.

AC: You consider responsiveness to student needs to be especially mission-critical.

LD: Yes, today’s students expect colleges and universities to deliver information fast, in real-time, and from anywhere to any of their devices. This puts institutions operating in a paper-based environment at a disadvantage. Increasingly, they may find that they’re having trouble attracting students who live in a digital world.

AC: What’s involved in making the transition to digital information management?

LD: Institutions can’t expect to address all the information-management challenges they face at once, but they do need to begin creating a roadmap to instill a systematic approach and establish the processes and policies that will build the necessary infrastructure and bring the knowledge competencies of staff up to speed. Enterprise content management (ECM) strategy is a governance strategy that involves people, process, and technology. It’s an important piece of the technology infrastructure institutions need to work more efficiently and improve operations campuswide.