How independent schools can reduce risk with information management services

20 Jun 2023

Enchasing excellence in education through information management services for schools

Productivity is essential to success for independent schools and educational institutions. Students, teachers, and staff all rely on good productivity to get the best results; as such, educational institutions must invest in solutions and processes that prioritise productivity, without sacrificing security or compliance, to ensure operations run smoothly. 

Information management services are an effective way for independent schools to automate time-consuming, paper-based activities and prioritise productivity while also strengthening security and compliance. While many educational providers are already cognisant of the risk that technologies pose to their organisation, and may be reluctant to transform as a result, they often overlook other potential vulnerabilities that failing to modernise can introduce to their operations. For example, information management and Student Management Systems (SMS) that aren’t carefully managed present significant risks to educational institutions. In particular, a lack of comprehensive governance and security around student or school records exposes vulnerabilities in the school’s processes, as does the lack of access parameters to paper-based files kept onsite. 

Additionally, on a fundamental level, paper-based records are at risk of exposure to the elements; mould, water, and fire damage could all result in important records and papers not being readable or accessible over time.

Consequently, digitising records and processes with the support of automation is essential; however, many educational IT teams are under-resourced and lack the bandwidth to carefully manage new technology implementations that align with the school’s broader plans.

When it comes to information management services for education, Konica Minolta has identified three critical foundations that schools and educational providers often lack, and the solutions to address these challenges:

1. Security in school information management

Challenge: many schools still rely on paper-based records across their operations. While this sounds like a secure solution (as paper records are not at risk of a cyber breach), it still poses a risk to unauthorised onsite access, which can be difficult to manage. Digitising records is essential; however, even those that have invested in digital records often face challenges in finding their information online.

Solution: investing in capture and digitisation services—whether in-house, outsourced, or through a managed services provider (MSP)—for student records is essential. Konica Minolta’s Digitisation Services empower schools and educational providers to convert their paper documents to secure, meaningful data with the right hardware and software, delivering more than just an electronic copy of critical records.

2. Compliance of school management systems

Challenge: paper-based records can create headaches for IT and school administrators, as they can be difficult to keep track of, opening the school to risk when it comes to governance and compliance. Schools must meet regulations around how long personally identifiable information (PII)—such as security checks, leave requests, timesheets, medical records, and more—is retained. Often, student and staff records and other essential information isn’t organised with a taxonomy that meets regulations.

Solution: digitising records with an electronic archive solution framework empowers schools to make their record keeping compliant with state regulations. Konica Minolta’s eArc solution lets schools build governance into their organisational systems and automatically apply metadata and retention rules to make retrieval, management, and disposal seamless.

3. Resilience in data security

Challenge: Microsoft solutions are common use in educational institutions, with educational leaders often incorrectly assume their data is automatically secured and protected by Microsoft. However, while the infrastructure is secured, it doesn't necessarily protect against external threats or help with disaster recovery. This means that, if data such as payroll or timesheets are stored within Microsoft Teams or Microsoft Sharepoint, any threat to Microsoft could expose sensitive information.

Solution: Konica Minolta’s Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) Continuity solution, including Microsoft 365 and Google back-up and disaster recovery, helps schools and educational providers better prevent impact and manage downtime.

How Konica Minolta can help

Failing to address information management in schools exposes educators, as well as their staff and students, to significant security risks. Educational providers must focus on improving their administrative functions and invest in automation and other innovative technology solutions to stay compliant and secure as much information as possible.  

Konica Minolta has a deep understanding of the document lifecycle, and we know that multifunction devices are just the beginning of that journey. We’re committed to delivering a holistic approach to information management including culture, process, and technology.  

Konica Minolta’s Information Management in Education lets schools assess their roadmap and methodically address any gaps that put them at risk. Konica Minolta’s free Digital Readiness Assessment helps schools take the first essential step in this journey towards strengthening their cybersecurity, compliance, and resilience.

For more information, contact the team or take the Digital Readiness Assessment.


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