Introducing the Digital Strategy

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The pandemic has forced staff across the University to re-evaluate how they use technology and the University’s digital estate. To navigate through the aftermath of Covid-19, the Information Services Group is working to draw up a new Digital Strategy for the University.

Here Gavin McLachlan, Vice-Principal, Chief Information Officer and Librarian to the University, speaks to Bulletin about what’s involved.

Can you briefly explain what the Digital Strategy is?

The Digital Strategy is a really exciting development that sets out the University’s vision for our Digital Environment, the technologies, skills, ways of working and culture we will need for the future.

Why do we need the digital strategy and why now?

Organisations such as ours require strategies for key aspects of our business to ensure we have the correct focus and investment. The University believes that digital is such a key element to our future that it deserves its own strategy.

The Digital Strategy will help coordinate, guide and enable our digital priorities for the coming years. It will be driven by and support the University in strategic change activities such as Strategy 2030 and Curriculum Transformation. It will also help us minimise future risks. A good example here is the challenge we face as a result of the pandemic where we have had to move our staff and business model between different modes of delivery from on campus to fully remote and now into hybrid. The Digital Strategy will help us to explore how we build in that kind of resilience rather than having to make it up on the spot.

In terms of why now, we want to build on the shift that has already taken place through the large-scale uptake of digital services over the last 18 months. This, alongside things like Strategy 2030 and Curriculum Transformation, means now is the time we need to think holistically and strategically about our digital environment.

Will staff be able to contribute to the strategy?

Yes. We are really looking forward to hearing your views.

How can staff get involved and feed into the strategy?

We will be releasing a consultation paper on the Digital Strategy in October and I really encourage you to get involved in the consultation and feedback your thoughts and views to us. Look out for it on our Digital Strategy SharePoint site.

Can you talk a little about what the work so far has entailed?

We have split the work into five workstreams led from various areas of the University. This is governed by a programme board that brings a wide variety of experience from across the University. Our workstreams have been working with small groups of stakeholders to envision our future digital environment and this work will form the basis of the October consultation paper. You can find out more about the different workstreams on our Digital Strategy SharePoint Site.

How does the Digital Strategy relate to our other key strategic work?

Digital Strategy will be a key component in the University’s key strategic initiatives such as Strategy 2030 and Curriculum Transformation ensuring that these are fully supported by our digital environment. The project team works very closely with the other strategic programme teams to make sure the Digital Strategy is aligned with these initiatives.

What can I expect to see next?

Look out for the Digital Strategy consultation paper available in October on our SharePoint site and make sure you give us your feedback.