The global pandemic has proven that agility is key for business continuity. Specifically in higher education, institutions must be able to quickly make changes to critical business processes and conduct transactions from any location. On this episode of the Workday Podcast, Florida Gulf Coast University CIO Mary Banks shares how the school is modernizing its technology to make better decisions that impact costs, productivity, and business success.
Below are some highlights from our conversation, edited for clarity. You can also find other podcast episodes here.
“[Prior to Workday], our processes were heavily paper-based. New staff members were questioning why we were still doing things manually, so I knew we needed to make it easier for them to do simple things like asking for a day off. This used to require a three-part form that they would have to fill out whenever they needed time off. We couldn’t keep saying, ‘Go find a piece of paper. Go get a signature. Track down your boss to get it approved.’ We had services like that throughout our organization that we needed to improve to create a better overall user experience.”
“When it came to getting buy-in from the rest of the business, I used an example of the pedal power of the Flintstones' car, which is what we were in, and we needed to go to the Jetsons' car. I felt that's where we were in comparison to other universities. Some of it was self-imposed because we weren't adopting new technology, but it was also that the current system had its limitations and was hindering the university from going digital. And you can't start adding on functionality on top of an enterprise resource planning (ERP) that's already behind the times. First, we had to start with a new ERP system, get up to date on technology, change the way we look at things, and then add on more features as we go.”
“As an IT leader, it’s important to concentrate on how you're going to support a new environment of constant change after you move to the cloud. We created a change ambassador network to help with the change management piece of the deployment. With many changes rolling out rapidly, we have a person in almost every department on campus who’s an expert on the system. They're key in this transformation because they will continue to be the experts no matter what we change out. Another key element is talking to other IT leaders in your industry who are ahead of where you are in your transformation. I love that other CIOs in higher education are willing to share their experiences. I can call up other CIOs across the country and say, ‘I need help with this.’ They’re always willing to give their advice, which was and still is so helpful.”