David Hill, Chief Digital Officer, introduces the new Digital Strategic Delivery Plan and the benefits it will bring to the university community.
We are operating in a complex, continually changing and increasingly competitive environment and the expectations of our students and staff are understandably high. Our digital and technology capabilities are one of the key enablers for the university and our reliance on technology has increased dramatically during the pandemic. We have seen increased adoption of digital solutions, such as the Windows Virtual Desktop, all of which have been fundamental in keeping the university operational during the past 12 months.
What does digital mean for you?
‘Digital’ is so much more than just traditional information technology; it is about effectively combining organisational culture, behaviours and processes with the right type of technology to continually improve how we do things and consistently deliver value for the university community.
For our students, this means providing robust, high-capacity connectivity and access to the resources they need wherever and whenever they choose to study. It means making use of technology to enhance education and student experience whether in person or virtually; and it means equipping them for life and work in the digital world.
For our researchers, this means using powerful, state-of-the-art technology that will improve the effectiveness and impact of their world leading research. It means using technology creatively to automate and improve traditional research methods; and it means exploring new technology that enables innovation and collaboration within and beyond our university borders.
For our staff, this means equipping them with the necessary technology to enable them to work effectively wherever and whenever they need. It means improving the quality, integrity and availability of data to give deeper insight into performance and support clear decision making; and it means increasing confidence and ability with the concepts and tools to be able to work digitally.
Whilst we have made progress, we know that further investment is needed in those areas of our core technology infrastructure that provide our foundational IT services if we are to significantly improve the user experience for the whole university community.
Digital Strategic Delivery Plan
I am delighted to announce the launch of our Digital Strategic Delivery Plan which describes how we will realise our ambition of being a digital exemplar for the higher education sector. The plan has been developed in collaboration with leaders across the university to ensure that it reflects the digital needs described in other Strategic Delivery Plans.
Our digital priorities
The Digital Strategic Delivery Plan contains five strategic priorities for the next two to three years, which are a combination of in-progress initiatives and future strategic planning activities:
- Priority 1: Establish the cross-functional Education Administration Continuous Improvement Team to effectively operate and enhance the Campus Solutions student records system and associated business processes. This will enable operational efficiencies and provide students and staff with an exemplary user experience.
- Priority 2: Continue to deliver improvements in digital capability through the Digital Futures programme, including the Digital Core and Digital Engagement projects and the Foundational IT Services project to refresh our core technology systems and services.
- Priority 3: Implement digital solutions to enable new methods of working emerging from the Covid-19 pandemic and support the creation of an inclusive, agile working environment. This blends digital and analogue solutions, giving flexibility in where, when and how we work and study.
- Priority 4: Collaborate with the university community to create a new Digital Development Framework; refreshing our long-term vision for being an exemplar university that embraces digital and technology to enhance our research and education and improve student and staff experience.
- Priority 5: Support the university community in improving their confidence and ability in digital tools to make the most of new and existing technologies and working methods. This will deliver better outcomes for students, research teams, partners and staff.
Please can I encourage you to take time to read through the Digital Strategic Delivery Plan, which reflects the university’s ongoing commitment to investment in a wide range of digital services that will enable us to deliver our strategic goals.
We will also soon invite all colleagues to join online Digital Discussion Sessions. There you can find out more about what you can look forward to through this plan, gain a better understanding of the key projects within it and how we will require your support and partnership to deliver these.
If you have any feedback or questions regarding the new Digital Strategic Delivery plan, please get in touch with us.
Chief Digital Officer
Friday 11 June 2021