Campus Blog

The Hidden Costs of Your Old Student Portal

While some things are easy to upgrade and discard (an iPhone, for example), moving away from any system that has been utilized for more than a year can be daunting. There’s the work of integrating a new tool with existing platforms, moving old assets, training personnel and students on a new tool, and the dozens of meetings needed to coordinate both the implementation and the communication necessary for adoption.

If we’re being honest, a big blocker to change--even positive change--is human psychology. Perhaps we implemented the system or discovered innovative patches to up-level functionality. There’s also a small chance that supporting the system as the only in-house expert also affords us some job security. As an IT professional, the most frustrating scenario is discovering a recently purchased tool doesn’t live up to its hype, making it a candidate for early replacement.

If your portal has any of these characteristics, it’s time to weigh the costs and benefits of staying the course:

  • Outdated user interface (no global search, personalization, or intuitive workflows)
  • Web-only - no native mobile app
  • Dedicated servers hosted on-premises
  • Infrequent version upgrades 
  • Resource intensive upgrades
  • Overly restrictive content administration
  • Deprecated support (documentation, security patches, accessibility, etc) 

The most obvious costs for a traditional portal are hosting services, licensing renewals and extensions, and maintenance or support packages. When portal service providers charge for template changes for a fresher UI or insist on charging for plug-ins that should be considered core features, people tend to get frustrated. 

Additional, less obvious costs include:

  • On-prem servers
  • Additional apps for mobile accessibility
  • IT hours spent on content management
  • IT hours spent upgrading platforms every 6-12 months
  • IT hours spent with remote help off-hours

Download our free guide to assess whether you can afford to stick with your old solution.

Posted by  Chris Nixon  on Nov 16, 2020 10:39:59 AM


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