Transforming universities in the digital age

Universities globally are witnessing a historic shift as technologies, student demands and new funding models upend generations of tradition.

The future is digital, but what does that mean?

Helping universities, leaders and faculty to  understand this question is the goal of this report. Inspiring possibilities lie ahead, and equally the challenges are daunting. It’s a journey we’ve witnessed in the wider business community where large organisations have left behind their legacy, on-premise technologies and embraced managed cloud systems, enabled by highspeed fixed and wireless broadband.

Seamless connectivity 

And at the centre of this computing universe are connected devices such smartphones and tablet computers. The goal is to enable seamless data sharing between web, devices and social services. This cloud-powered mobile connectivity is  bringing to an end the days of ‘point solutions’ or technology silos. Point solutions do not easily facilitate data sharing, have trouble with mobile device integration and don’t easily support the rise of self-service technologies. They also tend to be expensive to maintain, and don’t foster the types of innovative work practices or thinking valued in today’s society.

Cloud collaboration 

Managed cloud based platform solutions offer universities several benefits. Capital expenditure cost reductions are quickly realised as savings are redeployed to more productive, innovative areas.  For researchers, computing power can move from ‘under the desk’ to secure cloud computing platforms on demand. Computing at your fingertips, without costly and lengthy IT purchasing cycles, changes everything.   The power of global collaboration is also capturing attention. By sharing computing resources, researchers can easily work with anyone from a colleague down the hall to a new network of peers around the world.

Unified data 

Data is the lifeblood of the modern university, informing decision-making around teaching, research and  operational efficiency. University leaders with access to real-time data gain valuble insights into the marketing messages that will encourage student enrollments, or the best way to structure alumni engagement programs. By analysing student attendance and class performance, universities can intervene early to improve graduation rates, achieve higher student satisfaction, and grow revenues. All this can be achieved using platform based solutions for campus student administration and management, with rich data sources accessible by the university’s data scientists and executives. Armed with this data, campus management  can streamline operations, provide facilities where and when they are needed instead of guessing and hoping facilities are adequate for present and future use. 

The connected campus 

Taken together, the rise of managed clouds, platform based solutions, broadband and mobility all contribute to the creation of the ‘connected campus.’ In a connected campus, students are liberated to learn as they choose, on their terms. Seamless digital services operating across smart devices enhance everyday experience for students, academics and administrative staff alike. The university as a whole benefits from more efficient operations. Opening up data creates new ways of thinking, and innovative practices designed to boost both learning and research outcomes.

Read our full report to find out more : Transforming universities in the digital age