In this 21st century technological growth and advancement is the order of the day. Each and every businessprofit motivated or not to remain in business, must adapt to the new and upcoming technological growths and advancements to remain competitive. This paper sets out to explore how a university can embrace technology. To align with these technologies a university must have a very clear and well stipulated technology roadmap. This is a plan that equates university short-term, midterm and long-term goals,vision and mission with the emerging technologies to realize the set goals (Paap 2006).
According to Phaal et al 2003 one of the upper hands of road mapping practice is helping the university thrive during the chaotic times of technological changes. This is possible because the road map can give the university a focal point to evaluate the environment and trace the key individual performances and also determine the troublesome technologies (Bower & Clayton, 2005). In designing roadmap technology the university should make sure roadmap is simple in regards to its format but effective in answering broaduniversity concerns and highlights student’swelfare. Road map is applicable both in organizational as well as multi-organizational perspectives (Phaal et al 2003). Organizational road map development has three major functions. It harmonizes a combination of needs with the required technologies to meet the needs, it gives a platform that aids in forecasting technological development in future and gives the exact framework to plan and manage technological advancements (Garcia & Bray 1997).Multi-organizational roadmaps concentrate on environmental issues threats and opportunities to help a group of stakeholders in technological emulation. Hence the university must emulate the two local and international goals because its aim is to become an international learning institution (Phaal et al 2003).
Developing a technological roadmap of a University
The proposed University technological roadmap has been attached in form of PowerPoint. Asshown in the power point presentation technological road map is method of planning that summarises the short-term, medium term and long term matters that may confront the university in form of technological, product innovation and evolution. The stipulated map shows clearly how both the current and future technological inputs determine and support future product growth and delivery in form of market tendencies, market drivers, and clients’ needs. The map also shows the link between these technological investments links to resource needs and also to research and development. Therefore the university is in a position to know whether it can manage to support the medium and long term investments into the technological changes (Phaal et al 2003).
Good technological roadmap first and foremost identifies where one want to go. To know these the university must refer to its short term goals, midterm goals, long term goals and vision to know the way forward in regard to technology. The university must stipulate the technologies that need to be developed both in the medium and long-term innovation plans. In this case, the university aim is becoming an internationally recognized university providing multifaceted courses. In these endeavour, the university must derive support of its technological road map from its strategic plan and innovation planning. In addition, undertake a thorough research to determine the recently emerged and applicable technologies in the market (Guiding your products future-Road mapping 2009).
Secondly, the university must know its current positioning. The current technologies of the university can act as the basis of other products that may be included or added in its innovation plans (Mentz et al 2008). This is done through evaluation of its resources, its capability, and its performances. The types of knowledge and courses offered must also be evaluated and ascertain whether these technologies will suffice now and in future.Technology push will help in looking for opportunities that may exist in academic arena and applicable technologies.Market pull will help in identifying customer technological preferences in this case the customers are the students. The number of courses they provide currently and the number of students. The university must also establish the number of faculties it has (Guiding your products future-Road mapping 2009).
Thirdly, the university must know how they can get there. To get there the university must come up with the technologies that must be provided by peripheral providers of technology. The university must identify it technological operational and functional perspectives that can help it get there swiftly. The university must consider the market and how to remain commercially competitive, the products they provide and how the products can be designed to feature in the market. They should also determine how to improve business operations, how to better their services, research on how to upgrade their systems, how to emulate the emerging technologies,not forgetting the available resources. In this case, the university must include in its technology roadmap, the university marketing plan to innovate their technology to realize the potential benefits (Willyyard, 2007).
According to Phaal et al 2003 the continuous technological advancements will make the universityaware of the strategic worth of technology in creating value in organizations and maintaining a competitive edge both locally and internationally. In doing so, the university must remember that various factors of technologies are also not constant. Theprice complexity and rate of technological change is on the rise. In addition, competition and basis of technology continues to globalize. Further, the university must focus on tendencies of the consumer’s needs which sometimes are very dynamic. Taking into account the fact that within a stipulated amount of time technologies may combine together or may separate as part of technological development is also vital(Phaal et al 2003).
Therefore, for the university to effectively manage technology to the advantage of its business operations, must consider only the effective programs and systems that fully answer the needs of the organization both now and in future. Another important factor university administration must put into consideration is the impacts of technology especially in regard to threats and weaknesses, strengths and opportunities (swot analysis). This can help theuniversity administration discern the disruptive technologies. After following all these steps of the roadmap technological planning it is easier to enhance effectiveuniversity learning radar (Ozaki 2015).
The university through lack of ecommerce roadmap misses multifaceted business opportunities. Most university students are known for their innovative ideas. The university provides students with free internet hence, can make use of various technological communication platforms like face book twitter, Whatsup, Google to innovate technological advancements (O’Brien & Marakas 2011). The university should foster these innovative ideas from initiation stages to a stage where these innovative ideas become commercially feasible and make sure they are rolledout within the whole university. E commerce to be well nurtured,roadmap technology must be rolled across all the departments of the university and even across the borders to access the global market (Qin Z et al 2014). University e commerce roadmap when it accesses the global market, may receive support especially from government initiatives, hence making it more commercially productive. These students can then realize the full potential benefits of having a well stipulated e-commerce roadmap (E commerce Roadmap 2016).
Unified intranet portals
Nowadays intranet portals have become the core hub of most organizations across the globe (Wendell et al 2010). It is important for the university to emulate unified intranet portals in its technological roadmap. This is because it will enable the students to utilize and use intranet to meet most necessities in their research and innovation endeavours. An intranet portal can be used by students through mobile handsets, laptops and home computers. This way they can access university applications and communication becomes easy. Intranet serves as the hub of the university and can serve even dispersed students (Kurose & Kieth 2005). To achieve the dream of unified intranet portal the university must put into consideration in its technology roadmap the resource constraints as well as the security issues. Unified intranet portals can provide the university with very considerable results hence bettering students’ innovation and research works (Pernice & Caya 2014).
Faculty and student mobile application
A mobile application that engages students and faculty in social networking is very vital to be inculcated in the technological roadmap. This is because the mobile application can help the faculty evaluate levels of usage and trace trends and imminent problems among the students. OOHLALA is a good example of an application that can assist faculty in self regulation and self assessment procedures. This is because it can auger well with the university goal of improving academic performances (Moreno et al 2001). Such an application can help students in time management, through provisions of student’s time table, sending of alerts, reminders and notifications, accessing ofassignments and giving students study timers for effective studies. The program can also enhance study groups and sharing of learning materials (Newsroom 2012).
Ellucian banner erp for students and finance
This is a university solution program that should be incorporated in technological roadmap. This is because ellucian banner supports and enjoins faculties’ users and organizational goals thereby improving competence and output across the whole university. It reduces time wasted looking for information, no costs incurred in trying to customize software’s and avoids manual practices. It enables both student and faculty to undertake and accomplish big tasks for instance easy enrolment, easier course registration of students, access to information advices on degree courses, tracking students and faculty attendance trends, enhancingfaculty grading entries and easy billing and payment of finances (Wellman et al 2009).
E-learning solution for students
Technological advancement has greatly affected the traditional direct teacher student learning model through the introduction of e learning. It is vital for the university to focus on e learning in its technology roadmap. This will make sure it aligns with the upcoming e learning technology. E learning includes online trainings and learning procedures. Online learning has the ability to challenge teachers and other trainers to make their teaching materials accessible to multifaceted students in different learning styles, sites through search engines like Google (Barney 2007) . For instance, teachers and trainers may provide video and audio and other interactive learning tools to students. In doing so, the university will have adapted with a technology that will bear multifaceted opportunities and advantages to students and teachers now and in future (Clark et al 2011).
In this 21st century most universities are trying to do their best to maintain a competitive edge in the academic arena, by outsmarting other universities in provision of quality education. On the same instance, technological advancement is changing day by day. Therefore, some universities if not careful, might be outsmarted and thrown out of business by the emerging technologies, if they fail to adapt to them very fast. This is because technological growth and advancement has become inevitable. To make sure that all universities are not outsmarted this paper has proposed use of a technological roadmap framework a very efficient tool that can help learning institutions continue thriving in business as well adapt to emerging technologies with available resources and also identify disruptive technologies.
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