The utilization of modern technology, such as information systems, in daily operations of different offices, has a favorable implication on the performance of higher learning institutions. Advanced and improved technology plays a vital role in the execution of work processes in various offices and should be fully adopted. MBSC College has not yet utilized this emerging tool in its different fields of operation. Specifically, the implementation of an information system, information technology, and social media has not been optimal within the college. Consequently, many of the services are provided manually. For instance, posters are used to convey information from the administration to students and within different offices in the institution. Although the college claims it has embraced integrated systems, such as Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Customer Relationship Management (CRM), and Supply Chain Management (SCM), there is limited utilization. Examples of platforms that are not fully utilized are Yammer, KissFlow, GradLeaders, LinkedIn, and E-learning. Therefore, the management should investigate the current situation concerning ERP systems and provide possible solutions aimed at achieving better services.
Strengths and Weaknesses: Evaluation and Recommendations
Digital technology plays a vital role in the adequate performance of any educational institution through the improvement of customer experience, efficiency in remitting services, and appropriate decision making. Besides, it enhances creativity and innovation among the administration and students. It also equips learners and staff members with knowledge and skills through computer research. Moreover, technology helps them be digitally updated through training, mentorship programs, and innovative, successful projects. Since the college is relatively new, it has not fully digitalized its processes. With its inception, most tasks were paper-based, but with the adoption of KissFlow, almost 18 operations have been automated. Besides, the college has not installed modern technological equipment, and the existing one is not well-serviced. Therefore, the institution should adopt the use of technology for the effective delivery of services to its stakeholders.
Given the growing population of the college, the computers available are not sufficiently serving them. Moreover, devices are not well-equipped with reliable network services, software, and applications. MBSC College should provide digital technology to the students and staff by installing, maintaining, and serving its equipment, such as computers, desktops, and networks. Consequently, it will provide a conducive environment for both the administration and students to perform their responsibilities better. As a result, students will have more opportunities to research in different business fields.
The mobile application for the collection is unknown to most students. Presently, the college accepts fees’ payment using traditional bank transfer. Instead, it should incorporate an online payment system not to send regular emails to students. Besides, inquiries through the mailing system may not be responded to. However, if the application is utilized through a ticketing system, all questions will be attended to. The student attendance sheet is not digitized: Smart card attendance system should be used instead. Therefore, the college should install more services in the application and make it mandatory for all students.
Integrated Information System
An integrated information system is a set of defined and multiple data that are combined in an organized manner to be used in different business organizations and educational institutions to monitor and convey it to various departments. In particular, the integrated information system includes the use of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Customer Relationship Management (CRM), and Supply Chain Management (SCM). They serve some benefits to different business firms and educational institutions. Moreover, integrated information systems enhance higher production and provision of quality services. However, MBSC College has not yet utilized these services. Some of the benefits are advanced communication among the members of the firm and minimization of the risk of errors since there is no replication of data. Therefore, the institution should invest and implement the use of the integrated information system in its future operations.
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) is a collection of software systems that serves as a central unit for all departments. They facilitate the sharing of information and processes within an organization. In the college, the architecture of the integrated systems suggests that ERP has not been embraced fully because it uses Oracle E-Business Suite. For instance, there is no linking unit among departments in the institution, such as the offices of finance, procurement, admission, and human resource. As a result, there is a limited transmission of information. In such a way, considering that these departments have to operate independently, the college should apply ERP systems to enhance teamwork and increase the efficiency of information sharing.
Also, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Supply Chain Management (SCM) in the college are not well-applied, especially between the management and different suppliers and customers. CRM helps to enhance a good relationship between the institution and its customers. Consequently, it contributes to improving the quality of service provision in the college. Therefore, the institution should incorporate an effective system to satisfy clients with quality and updated services. When it comes to CRM and SCM, college management can take any professional and reliable writing service as an example. First of all, such companies are famous for responding quickly to any online “write my paper for me” request, and the speed of communication is often not the college’s strong suit. Secondly, services increase the productivity of online help to someone who wants to pay for essays, using the most up-to-date CRM technologies. When students need some online assistance for free, colleges should be able to respond to this need promptly and efficiently.
One of the essential cloud services that every educational institution embraces is cybersecurity. It is the art of safeguarding computer systems, network services, and different programs from any digital attacks. Some of them are aimed at having unauthorized access to sensitive information and destroying or maliciously altering it. Security innovations through biometrics and encryption in the cloud service should be kept updated throughout their entire life for the better performance of the college. However, the implementation of cybersecurity has become a significant challenge in many institutions since the number of devices is increasing as opposed to people. Therefore, the college should update its programs on information attacks regularly to reduce the risk of data corruption.
Cybersecurity is a challenge at MBSC College concerning the installation and maintenance of computers, network systems, and information transmission within and outside the institution. In some of the departments, there have been some cases alluding to the loss of valuable information. Moreover, examples of computers being attacked by viruses are on the rise. The repercussion is that studies by various scholars are hindered as viruses have destroyed information that is saved on computers. In particular, safety can be achieved through installing antivirus software and firewalls in the college computer systems and educating students on the careful use of external storage devices, the importance of protecting school properties, and updating programs. The institution should adopt Cisco systems as security information and event manager (SIEM). Therefore, the college should fight against cyber attacks and viruses by protecting the information systems.
The college must continue using Palo Alto Firewall to secure internal services, servers, and devices from external attacks. The access is granted only after opening port IPs. Palo Alto is the next-generation firewall and can control and detect the threats even if the request is reasonable by its pattern. Also, the institution should continue using McAfee antivirus, anti-threats, threat prevention, and other products. Specifically, McAfee offers E-policy Orchestrator (EPO) as a centralized hub application that controls all devices to decide which McAfee product (antivirus, anti-threats, and threats’ prevention) should be installed in a particular device. The policy of the college should be directed to social engineering hacking to raise awareness within the institution.
Information System Ownership and Utilization
Ownership and utilization of information systems at MBSC College have boosted the operation of the institution for the past few years. However, some aspects are still hindering the full implementation of school programs and conveying the information to the staff and students. More is yet to be done regarding information system ownership and utilization in the college since it has not embraced different types of information systems, such as Transaction Processing, Management Information, and Decision Support, among others. The daily record of the transactions is not automatically updated within the institution. As a result, there is no clear and transparent record-keeping, primarily through payment for services.
The college has some specialized information systems. However, only three people are employed to work in the IT department. Some of the methods are elaborated below:
- All students and staff use Oracle PeopleSoft SIS, but its functions are not fully utilized.
- Oracle E-Business Suite.
- Blackboard has many functions, but it is currently used to access course content and submit assignments.
- Microsoft Office 365 has many applications that are not utilized, and only four or five applications are used out of 28. The staff and students are still applying NotePad, while there are more useful applications, such as Microsoft Project.
- Adobe Creative Cloud is used for design by the marketing department.
- Constant Contact, which is an online cloud-based software for email marketing, is applied to design emails, easily drag and drop to send emails in bulk, or promote creative events. It has an event registration module that automatically saves data to send automated responses later. Besides, it is used to manage the data about Executive Education, MBA admission, Career Development Office, and registration applications. It is recommended to utilize these features for data analysis.
- Website and Mobile Application is rarely used, but it can be applied by adding online payment and e-commerce for clothing and accessories with college emblems.
Social Media Presence and the Third Platform
Many of the higher educational institutions in Saudi Arabia use social media as an advertisement tool. In various media, there is information about the available services and the courses offered. Moreover, there are different social media platforms, such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Snapchat. The college is currently using Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, and YouTube. Besides, Twitter and LinkedIn apply it for any engagement or interaction with the public. With these platforms, the institution is going to increase its social media presence in 2019 due to students’ achievements, alumni accomplishments, new businesses, and college life experiences. However, the educational establishment does not utilize various platforms because there is no social management system. Therefore, the college should update and make its website appealing to users and apply social media to attract more students.
To increase the social media presence, the institution should adopt some strategies. For instance, it can be Hubspot – a CRM system and an institutional platform. It is used in managing social media content like posting and scheduling. The system serves digital marketing, social media management, and customer relationship management. Hubspot will promote the institution and make more people get aware of it.
Currently, there is duplication and redundancy on social media channels. A content strategy will prevent the publication of information on all channels. In particular, it is using Instagram for visual content and Twitter for announcements. Also, a communication strategy that informs people about the college through the perspective of staff and students will increase the effectiveness of social media. Moreover, the content should be experience-based rather than informational because it promises more interactions with the public, for example, Misk Global Forum. In such a way, the college should have a social media management system for all the channels.
People Aspect of IT, IS, and Social Media
The use of information technology (IT), information systems (IS), and social media should be maximized. The application of technology aids institutions in providing quality services and reliable information, which is meant to improve their images and, hence, attract more students. MBSC College has embraced the use of social media platforms to market its services. Importantly, the most important information is posted on the website, which is open and accessible to everyone. The college also advertises its facilities, courses, and vacancies through Facebook and Twitter, which are some of the most popular platforms today. Some time ago, people had different perceptions of the services offered through social media, with negative feedback and complaints about these tools outweighing their benefits. Therefore, the college should improve its quality to foster its right image. In such a way, the institution can enroll more students and gain popularity among critical stakeholders.
The college should form a social media committee. It should be comprised of different members, such as the IT leader. This business department may benefit from the platform, and one from marketing and communication to support the communication part. In particular, there should be representatives from each department to provide the marketing team with content. The plan will involve assigning an employee from the marketing team to meet with every employee and student in the college to learn about them and what they do. In this way, he will discover areas where he enhances and grows the interaction between the employee and the marketing team.
A digital strategy is a deliberate administration form in which feedback to digital inquiries is addressed as a part of a general business strategy. It is achieved through innovations in technology and their incorporation in the existing business activities. MBSC College has adopted the use of enterprise resource planning systems and software, but they are not well-implemented. As a result, the institution should take better digital strategies by employing digitally enabled products and services and providing quality teaching service and modern learning equipment, such as e-learning. Also, the college should utilize systems like enterprise resource planning, customer relationship management, and supply chain management. The highlighted digital strategies will help the institution provide quality services and output to the staff members, students, and community at large.