Throughout the many disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic over the last year, society has come to understand that schools represent so much more than the buildings and campuses they inhabit. Schools are communities – comprising families, faculty, nonprofits, and the exchange of information, perspectives, and content on a massive scale.

Last year educators were forced to rapidly deploy multiple new digital methods to connect with students and meet them where they are. This influx of new technology brings with it an immense quantity of data and content to manage in a digital format. So how are districts adapting to the post-pandemic landscape to meet the ever-changing needs of their school communities?

One way for institutions to evolve is by adopting an enterprise content management (ECM) solution. ECM is a system that captures, manages, stores, and delivers information to support key organizational processes. ECM solutions were traditionally installed on-premise, but cloud-based solutions are far more prevalent today. With cloud-based ECM, the application is hosted by a service provider and made available to the customer over the Internet, making it accessible from any device, at any time.

ECMs provide a scalable platform to reduce manual paper processes and increase overall efficiencies without draining staff. Keep reading for a few ways that a cloud-based ECM solution can provide immediate value to educational institutions.

1. Increased efficiency and scalability across departments

ECMs allow administrators to standardize and organize content from disparate departments within a customizable filing structure, a “virtual filing cabinet” if you will. They can share and collaborate across departments, saving school districts the expense of purchasing and maintaining a separate application for every departmental need.

With the possibility for multiple integration points and an extensive API framework, an ECM can integrate with other campus systems, such as an ERP, SIS, and CRM. This ensures student and employee data is consistent across all applications, and access to data is instantaneous.

Cloud-based ECM solutions also come with a low initial cost as there is no locally installed software or hardware required.

2. Reduced time spent on manual processes, thereby enabling counselors and educators to be more accessible to students and their families, which in turn increases student and family engagement

ECMs provide an agile and efficient application architecture, as users can complete every action, including scanning and system administration, within a single browser window and on any device.

Without an ECM, administrators often spend hours every week tracking down paper documents from teachers and parents. And with the prevalence of remote schooling during the pandemic, this chore became tremendously more difficult and cumbersome. The ability to digitize all documents and store them in a central, easy-to-search repository is a huge time-saver, freeing administrators to focus on more critical tasks.

3. Empower faculty and staff with the tools needed to complete their jobs, meet goals, and ultimately impact student achievement

A cloud-based ECM addresses a wide variety of departmental needs related to content. ECMs allow users to capture, store, manage and automate all types of content; from electronic forms, documents, workflows, database records, print deliverables, and more.

Further, cloud-based ECMs provide significant improvements in security, compliance, and disaster recovery over traditional on-premise ECMs. Because you can restrict access to certain documents to a subset of users, it’s more secure than emails and file sharing. What’s more, a cloud-based ECM platform is frequently and remotely updated by the vendor to make the latest functionality and improvements available to customers immediately.

In short, cloud-based ECM provides complete control over how content is captured, processed, and distributed, making it the key to any organization’s digital transformation. And in education, where things are evolving at a rapid pace, digital transformation is essential to remaining competitive and meeting the needs of the modern student.

Softdocs is a trusted partner of the education space, with over 700 educational institutions leveraging Softdocs solutions to create new, timesaving efficiencies. Let’s start a conversation on how you can help serve your district as we enter our new normal.