Mastek Blog

New Decades, New Systems

22-May-2020 07:50:00 / by Jack Fowler

Jack Fowler


Recently Mastek conducted its first exclusive Higher Education webinar. We’ve been involved with the sector for many years now and wanted to provide some context for people to consider how the remote working environment created by the COVID-19 crisis might impact their organisations. 

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We covered many topics at a high level, with Neil Pardoe from Oracle doing an excellent job building a demo to meet our list of wants. We covered topics like the use of AI for occasional users, absence management, reporting, the changing role of appraisals, workflow, holiday entitlement, multi post-management and payslips. We also answered many queries around handling multiple assignments in
Oracle Cloud applications, whether it is possible to track flexible academic staff like people assigned for marking or invigilating, how payslips are customised to show these roles and how those are fed to the payroll. 

Annual Appraisal Meetings Versus Regular Catch Ups

During the webcast, one of the topics that we touched upon was the changing role of appraisals. We have often noticed that employees find the task of filling in mandatory KPI comments shortly before the annual meeting, tedious. They do not feel that this process addresses their needs. Traditional appraisals are rarely connected to pay and benefits in the academic sector. So, how does such an approach translate into a just raise in employees’ pay and benefits?

Most employees want to have structured relationships with their managers, where they can receive constructive feedback on a regular basis in order to advance in their roles and career. And we believe that this can be better achieved through day-to-day conversations that occur naturally rather than through mandatory annual meetings, as such an approach provides a platform for employees to constantly track their development. We certainly hope to see the higher education sector adopt this approach widely.

The benefits of seeing an employee’s record of development evolve over the year are much greater than just at a one-off meeting, especially in a changing world where employees constantly aspire to be in more challenging, evolving and flexible roles. Employers that couple this approach with easy access to personal development material are more likely to retain and attract the best talent going forward.


Higher education institutions need to take a long hard look at their current appraisal processes and ways of working. They should also give serious thought to moving to Cloud systems that allow them to innovate and reinvent themselves and give up legacy systems that limit their scope for growth.

These were our insights from the first Higher Education-focused webcast by Mastek and we have a series of webcasts coming up for the sector. We will continue to share our insights from each webcast and keep coming up with topics that keep the conversation around the growth of the Higher Education sector on.


Topics: Cloud Technology, Cloud migration, higher education

Jack Fowler

Written by Jack Fowler

Originally starting his career in local government finance, Jack is a qualified accountant with both private and public sector experience. His expertise lies in ERP, financial management, project management, market engagement and change management.

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