Investing in digital technology can be exciting for schools because it makes many daily tasks easier and faster. As a result, digital technology projects promise to deliver efficiency gains that save time and money.
But investing in digital solutions can also be scary because schools are under constant pressure to deliver more with less. If the investment doesn’t pay off, it can dent the budget and damage the credibility of the people involved in the failed project.
However, this perceived risk shouldn’t stop schools from investing in the right digital technology. It just means you shouldn’t overlook the most important step: choosing the right partner to help you get that return on investment, fast.
Take digital smart forms, for example. Automating the labor-intensive process of managing the vast swathes of paperwork required to run a school saves time and money.
You can implement some technology that professes to be out-of- the-box and, sure, you’ll get some benefits, especially if your IT manager is particularly savvy.
But results you’ll get with an out-of-the-box implementation compared with the results you’ll get from working with a digital automation expert are worlds apart.
The right partner can integrate digital smart forms technology with your business and student management systems like Synergetic or Maze, delivering even more efficiency than you anticipated. Integrating with business and student management systems is a smart way to leverage the value of existing investments.
Whether you’re an IT manager, a finance manager or a business manager, the benefits of working with a partner that truly knows how to get the best from automating business processes that use paper, PDF or web forms are considerable:
- IT managers: strategic partnering reduces the burden on you to implement and integrate the new technology, so you can oversee the process while focusing your efforts on where you can add the most value. Meanwhile, your chosen partner should be able to create seamless connections between your back-end systems and your digital smart forms technology.
- Finance managers: the right partner can reduce the costs of implementing new technology while ensuring it delivers value sooner.
- Business managers: an implementation partner will work with you to ensure the final solution delivers all the functionality and efficiency you need. Whether that means tailoring the solution to match specific workflows or integrating it with certain systems, your partner does all the heavy lifting allowing you to focus on school business.
How to choose the right partner
Just as there is no one-size-fits-all approach to digital smart forms, you should look for a partner that matches your specific needs.
- Consultation: look for a partner that starts the process by asking the right questions about you. They should be eager to learn about exactly what you need and why, rather than telling you how great they are.
- Implementation: a partner that has successfully implemented the same kind of solution for similar organisations is always going to be in the best position to give you a great result. Look for a partner that can point to examples of work they’ve done for other schools, then talk to your peers at those schools to get a sense of whether the partner is right for you.
- Training: getting your staff comfortable with the solution is absolutely crucial if you want to get great results fast. So make sure your partner will provide all the training you need.
- Support: don’t choose a partner that can’t support you once your solution is up and running. There are always ways to tweak your system to gain even more benefits, plus upgrades and patches to keep your solution running smoothly. So make sure you get a support agreement in place up front and understand the costs involved.
- Culture: don’t ignore your instincts; if you don’t think you’ll enjoy working with a particular partner then look elsewhere. A successful technology implementation depends on a solid, collaborative relationship between you and your partner, so make sure you choose someone you can trust.
With all of these elements in place, you’ll be well-positioned to reap extensive benefits from your technology implementation. Axient works closely with K-12 schools, delivering solutions that yield a strong return on investment so schools can achieve that ‘do more with less’ directive without the stress.