How cloud technology can help you embark on your digital transformation journey
When it comes to digital transformation for our members, it has a lot to do with using available technology to streamline processes to improve the learning and teaching experience for both students and staff.
Leaders are not only looking outwards in terms of student experience, but are also considering a more inward approach, especially how to make internal processes faster and more seamless.
What do you want to achieve?
An important starting point is to consider exactly what it is you’re looking to achieve with digital transformation. Cloud platforms are all about reducing burdensome tasks so you can focus on service delivery or the development of services your organisation needs the most.
Start by asking what services your organisation is most in need of and go from there.
For instance, are you interested in expanding your use of VLEs? Implementing online document sharing for staff and students? Streamlining and analysis of student data?
Pick your top priorities and then investigate how cloud can help you achieve them.
How can cloud help get you going?
Tools and services such as document sharing, cloud drive storage and integrated email clients are often available through vendors' licensing models and can be used on several platforms as well as the web.
Software-as-a-service (SaaS) technology such as G Suite or Microsoft 365, therefore, is often a good starting point for your digital transformation and can enhance collaboration and reduce paper-based systems, whilst also providing a foundation for new innovative digital services.
As a starting point, an enterprise collaboration platform – typically SaaS technology – is a great springboard into the cloud and a way to start utilising other affinitive public cloud technologies as your needs grow.
Taking it up a notch
Eventually, you may also want to consider whether you need to rethink your operating model.
For instance, the rapid development allowed by cloud technologies fits well with agile methodologies, and can help you develop new workflows, integrations, insights and experiences by exploring the capabilities and APIs your core information systems offer to developers. These include:
- Management information systems (MIS)
- Student record systems
- Virtual learning environments (VLE)
- Enterprise collaboration and productivity (such as G Suite)
What is a successful digital transformation programme?
Each institution will likely have a slightly different path through the digital transformation journey, depending on its own particular needs and priorities.
Goldsmiths, University of London, is in the process of a major cloud implementation, and Jamie Lee, head of infrastructure services at the university emphasises the need to keep actions aligned with desired practical outcomes. Jamie says:
“We have to keep asking ourselves: why are we doing cloud? Is it some cool IT thing or are there genuine strategic benefits?
“We have to keep reviewing those benefits. In our case, it means focusing our cloud adoption on what we can enable – creating a platform for innovation as part of our digital strategy.”
A successful digital transformation, then, hinges upon building a digital platform that works for your students and staff.
Behind the scenes, establish some architectural principles so your platform can take advantage of cloud-native techniques to support secure interactions with people, applications, data and things.
What are the main challenges?
Many of our members have concerns about governance and compliance in the cloud.
Both SaaS solutions and enterprise cloud platforms provide a number of robust mechanisms to ensure resources and information remain secure and compliant, with an ability to add fine-grained controls as needed.
If you’re interested in learning more about how cloud migration could help your organisation begin its digital transformation, email our specialist team firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also read more about how we can help you with cloud computing.
For more insights into real stories of digital transformation, visit Digifest at Birmingham ICC from 10-11 March 2020. Find out more and book your ticket.