- School districts, like major corporations, can operate more efficiently if fewer employees are needed to compile more accurate data by using enterprise resource planning (ERP) software to track areas such as finances, purchasing, attendance and payroll operations, District Administration reports.
- Though the software can provide a wealth of data that can be used to make more accurate decisions, the danger is that administrators can drown in data if they rely too heavily on the ERP system.
- In the future, this software may become even more valuable as a predictive tool indicating future maintenance issues, targeting students who are likely to fall behind, and estimating future school population numbers.
Millions of dollars flow through the hands of school leaders and administrators each year. Though schools are primarily designed for the purpose of education, there is no denying the business side of the equation. School districts must make the best use of the money they are given, and, increasingly, they are called upon to justify their spending to state and local leaders and to those who disperse grant monies.
ERP software is an important tool for school management. It can not only assume some of the numbers-based duties of schools and districts, but it can also save money by providing more accurate data by which to make financial decisions such as staffing and purchasing needs. Though this type of software offers tremendous potential for providing solutions, it also creates challenges in choosing the best software for individual school district situations and in keeping the software operational. These challenges are exactly why the role of a chief technology officer is becoming more important.
One of the responsibilities these CTOs are charged with is cybersecurity. The more dependent on technology an educational institution becomes, whether it is a college or a K-12 program, the more vulnerable it is to cyberthreats. The need to protect the vital — and often confidential — information of a school district may be one of the few downsides to the advantages such software brings.