Industry Profile: Education and EdTech

In a 2019 report, HolonIQ predicted that the EdTech sector would grow to $10 trillion by 2030. And while there’s no telling what impact the current economic uncertainty will have on these numbers, there’s reason to be optimistic — with more people working from home, being proactive about growing their skills, or taking the opportunity to transition to a new industry, it’s likely we’ll see an even larger investment in technology that helps people learn remotely.

Time will tell whether history bears this prediction out. At present, however, leading enterprise software providers are recognizing the industry’s potential and investing accordingly. In 2018, Salesforce launched its Education Cloud CRM, offering a scalable solution for recruiting and admissions, student success, advancement and other aspects of running a successful EdTech business.


Key Challenge: Technical Debt

EdTech providers range from major public university systems to independent learning consultants and other partners. As a result, even industry-specific software like Education Cloud will require some degree of customization. With any customized software, admins need to be especially vigilant about relying too heavily on tribal knowledge. 

One issue we see regularly in higher ed is that admins often bring on students for co-op or work-study placements — temporary team members who rarely stay on when their commitment ends. Without accurate documentation, knowledge about any changes they’ve made will leave with them, and the system will suffer as a result.

Key Challenge: Regulatory Compliance

In large university systems, the pace of change can be slow. So how do enterprise systems adapt when something unexpected happens? We’re currently seeing the impact of this unfold in real-time, as most college/university terms have been cut short, and staff have transitioned to working from home.   

Conversely, on the provider side of things, broader industry and consumer trends are having an impact. Increased competition for enrollment is forcing older companies into a complete digital transformation earlier than they may have anticipated; meanwhile, smaller companies are ramping up operations to meet increased demand.

Key Challenge: Rapid Change

Finally, regulatory compliance is another key concern — software handling student records may need to comply with FERPA, HIPAA, PCI and other regulatory standards. And, of course, SOX is a concern for publicly traded companies.

Maintaining effective reporting capabilities and overall transparency is essential; a proactive governance framework will be key to meeting the challenges of future growth without incurring additional costs around audit prep and/or risking fines for noncompliance.

Strongpoint in action: Helping EdTech companies move faster with confidence

We recently helped a publicly traded online learning platform automate their Salesforce documentation and create effective change logs. Now, they’re spending less time on tedious audit prep and more time on work that demands their expertise.

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Resources

The Edtech Podcast

The Future of Education — Panel Discussion at Salesforce.com

Campus-Wide CRM — White paper at Salesforce.com

4 Steps to Managing EdTech Security Risks — Article at Securityboulevard.com

5 EdTech Challenges Startups Are Facing & Solutions to Them — Article at Adamfard.com