Tidemark, the cloud-based enterprise analytics company, today announced a joint Workday Rising speaking session with Brown University that will highlight how the University is transforming its budgeting and planning process to attain higher levels of academic excellence and continue to recruit the best faculty and students. The session, titled “Envisioning Budgeting and Planning with Tidemark and Workday: Brown University’s Case Study in Transformation,” will take place on Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2013 at 1:30 p.m. PT at Moscone Center in San Francisco. Visit the Tidemark booth, #202 to learn more.
In anticipation of the show, Tidemark President and COO, Phil Wilmington, spoke with Brown University’s Associate VP of Budget and Planning Susan Howitt and Workday Project Director Roberta Gordon about issues that are top-of-mind for organizational leaders in higher education and beyond.
Q: What are the major issues facing organizational leaders at institutions of higher education?
Susan: While each institution has unique challenges, financials and student demographics, a big focus across institutions is using assets strategically and demonstrating results. This is a bit of a shift for academia. Expectations are high and questions regarding performance management abound. But we know that to be successful, we must continually ask ourselves what the future is going to look like and then plan accordingly. Having the tools to capture and analyze data to inform these plans in addition to being able to justify investments is an absolute must in this environment.
Phil: Just like corporations, institutions of higher education operate in a competitive environment – it’s a constant battle for students, faculty and funding. And like any business, institutions that don’t innovate are doomed. Education leaders know that they need to make changes quickly and strategically, in a way that allows them to gain a competitive advantage.
Q: What do you see as the key technology innovations that are helping create organizational transformation today?
Roberta: The convergence of cloud, mobility and big data is redefining how we communicate and collaborate, and leading institutions are leveraging these tools to reimagine how they do everything from distance learning to financial planning. The institutions that embrace these technologies and challenge antiquated processes will be the ones to succeed. These pioneers will create a culture of performance that prepares them for whatever the future holds.
Q: What are the obstacles that organizations and decision-makers face in implementing these projects?
Phil: Change does not come easily. Everyone thinks change is great until it impacts them personally, and the impact of the convergence of cloud, mobile and big data will be felt by everyone in the organization. Overcoming this hurdle requires a cultural shift; organizations must engage employees differently, and ensure everyone has the opportunity and ability to contribute. Changes of this magnitude can only be achieved by instilling a culture of innovation and performance such as the one being nurtured at Brown.
Q: What result is Brown seeing from implementing these technologies?
Roberta: By giving people the tools they need to influence change, we have created a value-add environment, where employees are encouraged to engage, and can feel a sense of ownership. Time is no longer spent managing static spreadsheets. Instead, team members across the organization are empowered to interact with data, suggest improvements and initiate change. It is a culture shift that we expect to spread as we continue working with Tidemark and Workday.
Susan: The cloud and mobile aspects also allow every employee to have important data at their fingertips. This leads to better, data-driven decisions and, in turn, more strategic use of resources. Everyone in the organization now has the ability to play an active role in both budgeting and planning. This increased participation is already leading to new insights and we are seeing continuous improvements to our planning processes.
Brown University has been a Tidemark customer for two months. In that time, the company has already seen the beginning of a cultural shift, characterized by data-driven performance gains, increased employee engagement and collaboration, and more strategic resource allocation. Brown is the latest in a long list of organizations working with Tidemark to better analyze and improve company performance.