The transition to an innovative economy is changing the role of higher education, placing new demands on the quality of educational services. At the present stage, the leading countries of the world attach special importance to education in the formation and accumulation of human capital. Its level determines the intellectual potential of the state as the most important component of national wealth. Moreover, the effective use of the accumulated scientific and educational potential is the main condition for the economic and social stability of society. The purpose of the university is to provide quality educational services to improve the level of education in society. Therefore, when deciding to invest in the development and implementation of distance education services, first of all it is necessary to assess how its implementation will affect the achievement of the general goal. The practical significance of this article is in the possibility of using materials, conclusions and proposals to improve distance learning technologies. The stages of the innovation process are systematized. The developed methods allow structuring the costs by stages of the innovation process and determining the effectiveness of investments in distance learning technologies on the basis of cost assessment of improving the education quality.