We started off looking with a plenary session giving an overview of things affecting IT in HE at the moment. Lots of different things covered, so this might look a bit disjointed.
1 Started by looking at what is termed the education ecosystem, all the things going on around us that affect us. Summed up in a nice diagram, if you can read it!
Some good discussion of the big players and their different strategies and where they fit in this complex set of interactions.
Then we had a new word, digitalisation. Digitisation is about digitising resources. Digitalisation is about creating new business models and getting added value from digitised assets. So, we have to work it how to come up with innovative ways to use our digital assets to deliver our institutional mission in a competitive environment.
2 As part of this session we also had a look at the latest results from the CIO survey which Gartner carries out every year.
Biggest message was that technology has to underpin everything, including the way customers engage with us, the way we get ideas and make decisions, and the way we offer services. It's much more than just the technology. IT has to be delightful! Or does it? Some debate about whether it has to be delightful for all of our customers. For staff for example, or should they just get IT that works, but we should be delighting our students and prospective students.
Some other key things to come out of survey:
Top technology priority was mobile, second was cloud. Analytics and business intelligence also very high, and increasing in importance.
Skills shortage in some areas, particularly in enterprise architecture and vendor management, is worrying many CIOs
IT budgets and governance still there as barriers to benefits realisation.
3 We might have done anyplace, any device etc, but next revolution in education is anypace. More personally defined, more inclusive education. Will
be quite disruptive to get there. Will need more flexibility, and more digitalisation.
Flexibility in where and when learning can happen.
Can you invite ad hoc, remote students or professors to class?
Can you ad hoc record and replay at a later time?
Flexibility in how learning can be done
Can you present the same topic in different styles to find a better fit to students different learning styles?
Can you adapt to students learning styles and allow anypace learning without the interaction of a teacher at all steps?
4 Strategic Technology Periscope
A way of looking at where our focus should be. Look at excellence vs expedience, and efficiency vs effectiveness. So, you map your different projects on this map:
to see what sort of advantage you're looking for. Nice sound bite from this bit, don't do pilots, do experiments.
5 Then a bit about the learning stack. Has to be flexible. We have to find out about the unknowns, ie what are staff using that we don't know about. Not so that we can control or take way, but support. Traditional concept of an LMS is changing. Rise of other technologies including social media, free and cloud applications will radically change how we deliver learning materials.
6 Finally, outsourcing. We as CIOs need to be strategic about what services we deliver, and how they are delivered. The important thing always to consider is how can central IT add value to however services are delivered. Education is very low in outsourcing compared to other sectors. We need to outsource more, and put our limited resources into adding value to services and delighting our customers.
Outsourcing is not just about cost saving, but very importantly about quality enhancement and speed of delivery and pace of innovation.
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