With the coronavirus pandemic creating a major shift in establishments from around the world, even schools are having to manage their activities from home. This is possible with the help of a cloud-based school management system. Any software implementation comes with a set of opportunities and challenges. However, when the opportunities outnumber the challenges, it is usually a good decision to go ahead.
Most of the schools in India are relying on cloud education ERP. This is the ideal solution for the myriad needs of educational institutions. In the following lines, let us take a look at the benefits and drawbacks of such a system.
Cloud ERP benefits
  • A better student information system
    Data storage and management are of paramount importance in educational institutions. Whether it is information about old and/or current students, there is a need for a lot of space. With the help of a cloud-based school management system, the data can be stored online and retrieved with just a few clicks, whenever there is a need.
  • Paperless management
    Everything that was conventionally printed and stored in files becomes redundant as the same information is available on the cloud. This paperless system saves a lot of storage space in the physical sense. There are no chances of the same getting damaged as well.
  • Time-saving
    There are many aspects of running a school. Things such as online admissions, fees collection, virtual classrooms, assignments, grading and even communication are made much easier with the implementation of school ERP software. Since everything is available online, searching for important information becomes easier. All you need is to type the relevant search words and the results are displayed within no time.
  • Cost-effectiveness
    As mentioned earlier, this is a paperless solution. Furthermore, all the key decisions can be made on time since the relevant information can be accessed whenever required. Human involvement is decreased and this leads to a minimized workforce. Though there is an infrastructure cost that the school needs to incur at the time of the implementation, the overall savings that result in time make up for the investment.
  • Seamless management
    Even working from home, teachers and the admin staff are able to do justice to their responsibilities. They are ensuring a continual learning process for students of all classes and also ensure that every activity happens in a streamlined manner. Sharing the progress of the children with parents, keeping them involved in the learning process, updating the changes as and when appropriate, are some of the activities that are simplified.
  • Communication
    In the current situation, having an effective communication system is key to the smooth running of schools. Updates have to be shared on a real-time basis and there ought to be no misses. Using digital communication has become quite efficient, and cloud-based ERP implementation supports this. Teachers, students, parents, administrators and the top management are at the forefront of any updates for better management of schools.
Cloud ERP challenges
  • Insufficient training
    Everyone involved in the relevant activities of a school needs to be trained in order to make the most of the school management system. If this does not happen, the staff and teachers are confused and are unable to optimally use the cloud ERP. This has to be done before the implementation and a member of the service provider needs to be present in the said sessions so as to make it a seamless experience.
  • Not choosing a suitable cloud education ERP
    Though a school typically has a set of activities or functions that it needs to take care of, the requirements differ based on the size, syllabus, the number of students and infrastructure. Making sure that you get into a partnership with the ideal cloud provider is pertinent. The goals of the school need to be earmarked before considering such a solution. Getting customized functionalities is key in this regard.
  • Student data security
    There is a lot of data stored in schools and some of it is sensitive. It is significant that there are no breaches in the security feature of the cloud implementation as this may lead to information getting into the wrong hands. Securing the system with credentials being offered only to those who are relevant is something that cannot be ignored.
As you can see, the opportunities that the implementation of cloud education ERP present are immense. Schools should consider a phase-wise process so that the staff is not overwhelmed with all the changes and this also gives them time to get used to the system. The challenges can be easily overcome with the ideal solution that is easy to use, secure and complementary to the needs of the said school.