The importance of data security and data recovery features in school ERP systems cannot be underrated or ignored, given the nature of data, its extent, and the complex features of the system. There are solid reasons for you to focus on a thorough evaluation of data recovery and security in the school automation software you consider for your institution.
ERP is Complex and Extended
Typical school automation software is complex and has an extensive set of features:
- Online registration of students, admission application data
- Interactive Student information system and parent information system
- School fee management
- Exam and result management
- Teacher and staff salary, data and administration module
- Financial accounting
- School transport
Each module uses sensitive personal data and must have more than adequate security measures, preferably SSL encryption.
School automation software usually works on the online model for operational ease. The Internet is the pathway through which most actions occur by students, parents, staff, and management. It is generally well known that there are grave security concerns when data is transmitted over the internet. From this angle, you will want the school ERP to incorporate the highest levels of security, such as authorization and two-stage login and authentication of users.
Student data security, archiving, and retrieval
The software may reside in a server on the premises, or it may be in the cloud. Students or there will access the software to register, furnish detailed personal data, including academic records. They are likely to use the online educational facilities and even take part in online exams. Parents use the ERP software to know the status of their children’s school reports and make payments using cards or bank transfers. Teachers will use the system solution online to conduct examinations and periodic tests and compile student reports. All this data is sensitive and needs to be kept confidential and secured against tampering or unauthorized access. The importance of data security cannot be overemphasized.
This student data accumulates over time, and teachers may use it for final evaluation and reports. It is unacceptable that such data should be lost. You want school automation software that automatically backs up data that keeps accumulating progressively. Redundancy and, preferably, cloud-based backup features are desirable to guard against data loss. All student records are vital right up to the university level. Transcripts are usually required when students seek admission abroad, transfer to other institutions or apply for immigration. Data archiving and recovery should be rock solid and permanently available in the school automation software. Data storage and recovery go hand in hand with data security. As such, you need both to be of the highest possible standards, preferably conforming to ISO 270001:2013 covering information security management.
Different communication channels
School automation software makes use of different communication channels. Students, parents, and staff may make use of email, Whatsapp, and chat for communication. Student exams may be conducted through the browser and need special WebSockets security consideration for which SSL certificate and encryption are necessary. Emails can be hacked. Chats and phone lines can be tapped. In this context, the school ERP solution you pick should focus not only on data security but also on implementing highly encrypted and secure communication channels with two-factor authentication and permissions only for authorized users.
Teacher, administrative staff data
The school software ecosystem is a bit different from what you see in business organizations. Teachers are employees, and the software you choose should naturally take care of their attendance, schedules, and payroll matters. Additionally, teachers are also in charge of teaching students, conducting exams, assessments and generating student reports. Teachers may generate comprehensive reports and reports on specific subjects. You also need strict authentication and authorization procedures in the school ERP software to grant only specific permissions to each teacher. At the same time, you may also want to monitor how they evaluate students, so transparency is needed for access by superiors and parents. You will also want the software to maintain a log of who accessed which data and when as an added security feature and ensure accountability.
The school automation software you plan to use for your institution will have a financial module. Financials cover diverse matters such as student fees and the general administrative expenses of the school besides teachers and staff payroll. You will want a school ERP solution that keeps this module distinctly separate and accessible by only a few authorized personnel. Security is just as important as data archiving and recovery since you cannot mess up fees records that would lead to a dispute.
Data portability, upgrades, access
You need to have a long-term view when you consider subscribing to or buying school automation software. Regardless of the software technology used, all existing data should be portable and easily transferable to upgraded solutions. Another matter to consider is that users will use the software on mobiles, possibly through apps that are part of the school ERP. Therefore, your data should work seamlessly across platforms.
If encryption is involved, it can be a challenge. The wise thing to do is to subscribe to school ERP from a reputed, reliable, and established vendor offering a cloud-based solution. This way, you are free of the worry of the security of data and archiving and retrieval. There is continuity in software upgrades, and old data seamlessly transfers to whatever ongoing upgrades your vendor provides. Terms of service are important here since you will be locked in and should not find yourself in a situation where you have to pay higher prices for your data recovery and security.
The current trend is to implement blockchain technology to guarantee far higher levels of security in critical transactions. You could look at school automation software vendors specializing in ERP solutions and AI and blockchain technologies for total peace of mind.