As we move into the final month of 2021, and we get ready to welcome more new clients into the Softdocs family, we are revisiting the new top 10 list that EDUCAUSE published for 2022, and how our company and solutions support client success in the coming years.

We wanted to share a few of our thoughts as we all prepare for 2022 and the coming decade. Let’s focus on institution success and start with our Strategic Plan and the category for “Shared Vision, Shared Strategy.”

Institution success starts with revisiting the Strategic Plan

The Top 10 list spotlight is on collaboration between departments within the institution. Actually, Etrieve protects institutions from “operating at cross-purposes in which the success of individual areas takes precedence over organization-wide success.”

But we’d argue it is broader than internal collaboration. Let’s also talk about collaboration at the regional level, the state level, and internationally. Please collaborate with your technology partners. This is our chance to think big together. Especially with enterprise-wide solutions such as Etrieve by Softdocs.

And to be your trusted partner on this journey, we need to know from our first conversations with you:

  1. How do you define the students you are serving? What do they need to truly be successful? What new services do you have to provide? And how do you need to provide them (On-site? Remote?). Do you have staff with these skills? Anticipate the escalated needs of student mental health services and remedial education needs for students that are behind due to the pandemic.
  2. What’s missing from how you work as an institution to best serve these students? Ask your students this question. They will tell you.
  3. What programs will set them on relevant careers after their 2 or 4 years with you on campus? Do you have those programs in place? Should they be online? Remote? Hybrid? What programs should be re-evaluated or phased out? Do you have a process in place for that? Should admissions processes be changed or simplified?
  4. What offices are moving the slowest or need to change the most? Dig deep on this one. What’s the hold-up? What are the short- and long-term fixes?
  5. What departments are most critical to your success or will experience the most change based on your strategic plan? How will they adapt to that change? What can you do now to get people comfortable with change?

Is Higher Education Shrinking or Expanding?

Our final point deserves emphasis. It’s fundamental to all the details above. It is our job to expand higher education and its impact and value in the world. Everyone needs to keep learning to be successful in today’s job market. I’m learning from customers, prospects, employees, peers, friends, and family every day.

So, take point 2 from above “Define the students you are serving.” It’s important to look at the students you are serving today. But who are your students in the future and what do they need to learn? How do you transition to serve those students as well?

The EDUCAUSE panel addressed that and summarized it this way in the Top 10 list. “Institutions will focus on three shifts in 2022: operational efficiency, agility, and workforce development (Issue #2).” There’s our buzzword: Efficiency. At Softdocs, our solutions bring real efficiency to how you operate — faster processing times, quicker decisions, smoother office-to-office hand-offs.

But agility is the key to our collective success in the years to come. When we lead organizations, we can’t change our minds and our priorities every day. But we can change our mindset so that we can be reactive when opportunities arise. I have customers tell me that Etrieve gave them the agility to develop forms and workflows when COVID struck. So, our last question is this:

Where are the opportunities that haven’t been tapped? As a higher education institution, you are already teaching the content that people other than your enrolled students need to learn, re-learn or refresh. How can you mix up new offerings into credentials and segments that provide the learning shots your alumni and community need? How do you reach these new markets?

With this information, Softdocs can make the right recommendations about where to start deploying an enterprise-wide ECM solution that can quickly support your digital transformation (Dx) work.

“Evolve or Become Extinct” made the Top 10 list. At Softdocs, we’re finalizing our strategic plan. We’re listening and anticipating what you need in the coming years from an enterprise-wide partner and ensuring we check those boxes. Softdocs is on a non-stop journey to help you drive continuous value from your investment in our solutions and services and give you the agility you need to go to bold new places. That mentality at the top and working down through the institution will transform what we do.