Strategies for engaging with business and the community
By working with external organisations, universities and colleges earn revenue, enhance their reputations and gain experience and knowledge. They also harness their knowledge and expertise for the direct benefit of society, thus satisfying government requirements.
Universities and colleges need to coordinate internally if they are to respond to external opportunities and demands. They also need ways of networking with external partners, transferring information and managing partner relationships. Digital technologies can help with all of these.
However, institutions require a strategy for business and community engagement to ensure they play to their strengths, avoid duplication of effort and make use of skills and resources across departments. We’ve developed a range of online tools to help you build such a strategy and manage relationships with external partners.
- Review your approach to business and community engagement and diagnose your institution’s strengths and weaknesses with the help of our workbook. Our infoKit will guide you through the steps needed to revise or develop your strategy, including how to understand internal processes and customer perception.
Contact JISC Netskills if you're interested in attending an event to share experiences or evaluate your own practice.
- Once you’re engaging strategically with external partners, you’ll need a way of managing relationships, especially if you have many partners, or if different people from different parts of your institution are likely to interact with the same partners. Our self-analysis framework will help you consider your approach to managing customer relations.
- We’ve also produced guidance to help you get started with developing good practice and designing the processes involved in managing relationships.
- You may need to give external partners access to some of your digital resources. Our guide, Access for Engagement, outlines steps to make this possible.
- We've developed an infoKit, Collaborative online tools for business and community engagement based on a number of trial projects in universities and colleges, which provides guidance on using web technologies to empower collaboration.
- Many legal issues can arise when you engage with external partners, such as how to manage intellectual property rights or personal data, or how to comply with rules on state aid. JISC Legal has advice on these and other legal issues.
- Small and medium-sized enterprises account for more than 50% of UK gross domestic product. Our online guide, ACUMEN, can help you work with this important sector.
What does the future hold?
A comprehensive online handbook on customer relationship management for institutions is under preparation and will be available later this year.
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