Cost to make changes after the software is installed is their biggest concern
Nearly half of higher education institutions are willing to replace their current software systems if it would help them manage change more effectively without having to rely on costly external support, according to a UNIT4 survey.
The survey undertaken by Technology Evaluation Centers (TEC) found that many of these institutions are not meeting business-change management requirements as a result of rigid enterprise software, that is costing them between $100000 and $1m to make changes after the software is installed.
Almost 36% of respondents report spending over $100000, with 7% spending upwards of $1m, to meet post-deployment change management requirements, the survey found.
According to respondents, the top change management drivers are increased regulatory compliance requirements and internal reorganisation and restructuring efforts designed to cut costs and increase efficiency. They indicated software as a critical part of meeting change management requirements.
TEC research analyst Gabriel Gheorghiu said higher education institutions are suffering from a significant change management burden, and can be vulnerable to a fast-changing business environment.
"They are suffering from the high cost of change associated with making changes in their enterprise software post-implementation, and the cost cited in our report likely only reflects direct costs," Gheorghiu said.
"The top drivers for change affect all levels of the organisation, and only by investing in software that easily accommodates changes will they be able to adapt and meet these challenges effectively."
UNIT4 VP Product Management Ton Dobbe said the change management drivers identified in the report are common across all business sectors, and sadly UNIT4 continues to see organisations in all these sectors (including higher education) suffer badly when required to change quickly.
"Too many have invested in Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) technology as the backbone of their operations, which cannot support change without significant database-level modifications that take time and require costly external consultants," Dobbe said.