Guide

Digital transformation in higher education

A toolkit to support the development of digital strategies, assessment of digital maturity across the organisation and the creation of actionable roadmaps and plans for implementation.

The UK’s higher education sector needs to respond to frequent disruptions with strong leadership and resilience. Strategic long-term approaches are necessary to address challenges such as economic downturns, resource constraints, climate change, cyber security and digital and other inequalities. Additionally, agile responses are needed to address short-term disruptions such as pandemics, emerging technologies or localised events.

The complexities and range of business activities across a provider organisation can result in reactive, piecemeal responses to operational needs, which are often compounded by traditional hierarchical structures and ways of working. Effective and appropriate digital investment offers an opportunity to address inefficient and ineffective systems that hamper the practices of staff across the organisation. Digital investment, however, is not enough to stimulate the kind of organisational change that could bring efficiencies, support strategic missions and values and improve the work or learning experiences of staff and students and their well being.

“Digital transformation is a series of deep and coordinated culture, workforce, and technology shifts that enable new educational and operating models and transform an institution’s business model, strategic directions, and value proposition.”
Brown et al. Digital Transformation Signals: Is Your Institution on the Journey? Enterprise Connections (blog), EDUCAUSE Review, May 12, 2020

Many people recognise that digital transformation (sometimes called DX) offers a more holistic approach that addresses the need for organisation-wide cultural, operational and technical shifts to transform business, change practices and achieve strategic vision and missions.

Digital transformation impact diagram

Digital transformation impact diagram

A diagram illustrating how digital transformation impacts on an organisation.

  • Top left: Strategic vision - leadership, values, planning, investment
  • Top right: People - expectations, activities, experiences, capabilities
  • Bottom left: Infrastructure - systems, data, networks, physical spaces
  • Bottom right: Core business activities - operations, workflows, processes, practices

Why digital transformation is important for HE

HE providers can learn from digital transformation approaches and models in other sectors, but they have unique needs and complexities that relate to their individual levels of digital maturity. Many are creating new digital transformation strategies and some are incorporating digital into existing strategies, but all are recognising the need for clarity around the role of digital in the delivery of institutional ambitions, missions and values.

“Effective digital transformation is a difficult problem to crack in any sector, and HE is probably a couple of steps behind other sectors. While everyone acknowledges the need for it, there’s a lack of understanding about how best to move forward. Jisc’s work in this area will be instrumental in enabling all HEIs to create their own digital transformation frameworks and strategies that balance pragmatism with innovation and ambition.“
Professor Raheel Nawaz, pro vice chancellor (digital transformation), Staffordshire University

Successful digital transformation requires effective digital leadership, appropriate investment, robust secure infrastructure, engaged stakeholders and digitally capable staff and students. The complexities and scale of higher education providers present challenges to achieving ambitious digital strategies.

Our 2023 digital strategies in UK higher education: making digital mainstream report offers insights into how universities are taking forward their digital strategies and explores the critical success factors for their implementation. In it, ten senior leaders outline their visions for digital and what they are putting in place to drive change forward – whether that be technical, cultural or pedagogical. We suggest some scenarios for how digital may change and expand provision and we offer some prompts for those tasked with developing a digital strategy.

Who should be involved in creating, leading and implementing digital transformation?

Although everyone in the organisation will be impacted by digital transformation strategy/ies it falls to senior leaders, governors, managers and change agents to create, lead and implement it/them. This will require coordination across a range of different roles and departments within organisational structures. Senior leadership teams need to be able to demonstrate and model effective digital leadership and engage stakeholders accordingly.

“How can we get people to acknowledge that work needs to be done? How can we get people and senior leaders to acknowledge that they need to be engaged with this? And I think there are certain things as senior leaders where you've got particular agency, you've got to get yourself out there and acknowledge and be seen to understand what it means to effect change for real people, you can't just put it in a policy and expect that's a job done, because it isn't.”
Professor Paul Bartholomew, vice chancellor, Ulster University

Taking forward digital transformation in your organisation

“Our digital strategy is one of six enabling sub-strategies designed to support the university in achieving its ambitions. It's not a strategy for an IT department. It's an institutional strategy that touches all members of our community, and which required buy-in throughout the whole community. Digital transformation is an inevitable prerequisite to allow the university to achieve its priorities, its combination of people, process and technology led by digital and a fantastic team.”
Dr Jodie Wetherall, associate director, Office of the Chief Information Officer (CIO), University of Greenwich

There is no single way to achieve digital transformation – it depends on the context of each organisation. Digital transformation activities and approaches should be founded on organisational goals and values, should reflect business ambitions and be implemented strategically. However, there are some common elements to the process that need to be addressed, and some of these will already be well established.

Digital transformation steps

Digital transformation steps diagram

A diagram illustrating the steps to digital transformation.

  • Aspiration: horizon scanning, organisational principles, business goals and ambitions, benchmarking
  • Assess readiness: digital maturity, collate evidence, establish baselines, skills review, identify priorities
  • Leadership: digital vision, aligning strategies, investment, stakeholder engagement, organisational roadmap
  • Implementation: action plans, digital infrastructure, physical infrastructure, digital capability plan, changing practice
  • Review: evaluation, measuring success, problem solving, revising plans

Questions to ask

“I often subscribe to the view that you shouldn’t have a digital strategy any more than you would have an electricity strategy. What matters is how digital supports the pillars of the university strategy. But sometimes it is useful to have a digital strategy, and a member of the top team with digital responsibility, so that there is something for digital to coalesce around.”
Professor Susannah Quinsee, vice president (digital and student experience), City, University of London

Adopting a strategic approach to digital transformation can stimulate a review of existing processes, structures and management practices. It enables organisations to ask questions about their current state and to assess readiness, investment plans, governance and vision for the future, such as:

Aspiration

Vision and strategy:
  • What is our vision for digital transformation and how does it align with our overall strategic goals (eg environmental sustainability, equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI), internationalisation, local and regional impact)?
  • How will digital transformation help us to improve our services, operations and stakeholder experiences?
  • What is our attitude to digital: is our main priority operational resilience and business continuity; enhancing the organisation's mission, or major changes to our business model?
  • How can digital improve learning, teaching and assessment?
  • How can digital drive our research forward?
  • How can digital enhance the unique selling point and reputation of our institution?
  • How do we benchmark ourselves across the sector?

Assess readiness

Readiness and current state:
  • What is our baseline in terms of digital maturity, and what are our biggest gaps?
  • How digitally capable are our stakeholders (leaders, governors, staff, students, partners)?
  • What evidence do we have about the ways that different staff (teaching, research, professional services, etc.) experience the digital environment?

Leadership

Planning and prioritisation:
  • What is our roadmap for digital transformation, and how do we plan to prioritise different initiatives?
  • How will we balance the need for operational efficiency with the investment in digital transformation?
Governance and leadership:
  • Is there sufficient digital awareness among the executive team and the board of governors for them to make informed decisions in strategic digital areas, to inspire and model good practice?
  • What structures or mechanisms will we put in place to govern the digital transformation process?
  • Which internal processes and governance structures need to change so that we can track the performance of our digital strategy and respond to new opportunities in an agile way?
Stakeholder engagement:
  • How will we engage with different stakeholders during the transformation process?
  • What communication strategy will we employ to manage change effectively?
Investment and resources:
  • What kind of financial investment are we prepared to make in digital transformation?
  • Do we have the necessary resources (human, technological, time) to implement our digital transformation strategy?

Implementation

Risk management:
  • What potential risks could we face when taking digital initiatives forward, and how do we plan to mitigate them?
  • How do we plan to manage the cyber security risks associated with increased digitalisation?
Changing practice:
  • What do we need to do to improve the digital competencies of all stakeholders?
  • How do we work with stakeholders as partners in change?
Technology and infrastructure:
  • Do we have the necessary secure and reliable technology infrastructure to support our digital transformation?
  • How do we balance investment and effort to refresh, consolidate and/or integrate existing/legacy systems and services – and also develop new ones as appropriate?
  • How can we ensure that physical and virtual infrastructure integrate efficiently and effectively to deliver strategic objectives?
Data management and security:
  • How will we manage the increased volume and variety of data that comes with digitalisation?
  • How do we improve the flow of data between systems to support informed decision making?
  • How do we plan to ensure data privacy and protection in the new digital environment?

Review

Performance measurement and review:
  • How will we measure the success of our digital transformation initiatives and have we embedded ongoing review mechanisms?
  • What key performance indicators (KPIs) will we use to monitor progress and adjust our strategy as necessary?

The process of asking and reflecting on these questions is an important start for any organisation when creating an effective digital transformation strategy that aligns with its vision, leverages its strengths and addresses its challenges.

“Digital transformation is at the heart of the University of Leeds’ strategy. There is complete senior buy-in, and commitment to resource, empower, engage and support colleagues and teams to harness technological progress delivering locally anchored global impact.”
Professor Arunangsu Chatterjee, dean of digital transformation, University of Leeds

Digital transformation toolkit

We developed this toolkit to help you consider and reflect on these questions. We designed it to support digital transformation in the HE sector, from assessing digital maturity across the organisation to creating actionable roadmaps and plans for implementation. We offer a framework for digital transformation that provides a structure to guide the development of strategic vision and planning. It highlights how policies and processes might align to promote cross-team approaches to reduce complexity and fragmented processes. We had input from key UK higher education (HE) sector bodies and developed all the supporting materials through a robust review process with senior leaders from UK HE organisations and interested international representatives.

Read our framework for digital transformation in higher education

The framework offers a structure to inform digital transformation activities with a focus on fostering digital innovation, streamlining business processes and operations and developing partnerships for collaboration.

Download the maturity model for digital transformation (pdf)
Download the maturity model for digital transformation (docx)

The maturity model uses the framework structure to illustrate different levels of digital maturity for each area of activity and across all aspects of business. The model describes sector benchmarks and supports organisations to identify their own baselines, from which to move forward. The maturity model reflects a ‘big picture’ view – it does not provide the level of detail that the action plans need to address.

Download the maturity model for digital transformation: action plan and roadmap (docx)

The action plan provides a practical template for organisations to produce detailed actionable plans to enhance their digital maturity. It prompts reflection on current maturity levels to identify actions, KPIs (key performance indicators) investment, responsible owners, relevant stakeholders, supporting resources and documents, and assign priority levels. The template is a companion document to the maturity model and can be used at organisation-wide level to produce a roadmap and/or at faculty/school/department level.

The process of creating action plans can inform/feed into the development of a digital transformation strategy or help to review and adjust an existing strategy. This process can also be used to consider digital aspects of all existing organisational strategies.

Download the maturity model for digital transformation: overview (docx)
Download the maturity model for digital transformation: overview (pdf)

The maturity model guidelines suggest ways to use the suite of materials, with examples of how to make best use of the template.

Digital strategies in UK higher education: making digital mainstream

A 2023 report offering an overview of how UK universities are developing and implementing their digital strategies.

Steps towards digital transformation

A practical guide to using the toolkit to support digital transformation in your organisation

You can use this toolkit in a variety of ways to support digital transformation, depending on your organisation's stage on the pathway. You may find it helpful to work through the framework, or prefer to go directly to the maturity model. The roadmap/action plan template can be used alongside either of these documents as the same structure is used for all the materials.

Download this overview document to print out the steps towards digital transformation:

Download the maturity model for digital transformation: overview (docx)
Download the maturity model for digital transformation: overview (pdf)

The framework structure allows individuals and teams to quickly see where their areas of responsibility fall and encourages them to focus on specific areas of the framework or maturity model. The scale and size of the framework and maturity model reflect the complexities of HE provider activities. The framework and the maturity model both highlight some aspects that need consideration across all sections such as organisational values around equity, EDI, environmental sustainability, ethics, quality etc.

The framework and maturity model can be approached in sections by different individuals and teams, and the action plan and roadmap template allow a common approach to recording engagement with the maturity model and producing action plans. The template offers a coherent approach that means action plans can be shared/amalgamated (if appropriate) and allows senior leaders to have an immediate understanding of plans, priorities and progress. Leaders can easily see the priorities of different teams and there is a mechanism to adjust these as appropriate when considered at a strategic organisational level. You can use the template to produce an organisation-wide roadmap.

This is a suggested process for organisations to adopt but you can use the various elements of the toolkit and stages of the process to suit your own needs, contexts and approaches.

Steps towards digital transformation diagram: assign responsibility, assess readiness, produce action plans, collate action plans, review action plans, implementation and review, progress mapping, reassess maturity

Step one

Assign responsibility for different elements of the framework/maturity model to appropriate teams and individuals. These are the people who will assess maturity levels and work on the action plan/s. Some may have responsibilities or interest in more than one area of the framework, particularly if they have responsibilities that cross over several areas. (For example, a librarian may be involved in producing action plans around learning and teaching, research or collections development. Human resources teams may work on digital wellbeing, digital capabilities and other specific areas that include staff development.)

It is also important at this stage to identify timescales and deadlines for the process – so that action plans for each area are considered and approved by senior leaders at the same time (see sections three and four).

Appropriate board level committees and groups should be identified/created with responsibility for progressing digital transformation across the organisation.

Tips and ideas
  • Try to resist the temptation to adopt a silo approach at this stage. Look at each area of the framework/maturity model with fresh eyes and consider which stakeholders have something different to offer: can you involve students, and are there opportunities for cross-faculty working, for example. Try not to appoint only “the usual suspects”.
  • You could have teams from different faculties working on the same area, as some will be more digitally mature in specific areas than others. If you adopt this approach, consider how you can bring them together at a later stage and how faculties can learn from each other and share good practice.
  • Make sure each team has a senior leader or sponsor involved in some way – this can help with the later stages of organisation-wide prioritisation.
  • It could be useful at this stage to carry out a review of stakeholders and map them to different elements of the framework so that no group/s are excluded from planning or engaging with strategies and plans that will affect them.

Step two

Assess maturity for each area of the framework using the maturity model for digital transformation in higher education. You could approach this in two ways. It may be of value to assess the maturity level across the activity area for the whole organisation or teams may have been assigned to focus on specific faculty/schools or departments. Ultimately, prioritisation decisions around investment require a whole-organisation picture, so if you decide to focus on specific sections of the organisation you’ll need to amalgamate them or assess them together later.

Tips and ideas
  • Don’t take the levels of maturity as too prescriptive or exhaustive. While they provide a general framework for understanding an organisation's level of digital advancement, they should not be interpreted as a one-size-fits-all solution.
  • Don’t focus solely on technology aspects. Underlying cultural and organisational issues are included in the maturity statements to highlight that digital transformation is not just about technology – it's also about people, processes and culture.
  • The maturity model offers a ‘big picture’ view for each area for the whole organisation. Conversations held while assessing maturity models are likely to delve into the details, so record or capture this detail in preparation for the next stage (producing action plans and business cases).
  • It may be useful to record the evidence you have to reflect your chosen level of maturity (eg recently updated policies, results from surveys, previous investment in systems, project reports).
  • Consider each area in relation to organisational values, principles and strategic aims to make sure practice and policies reflect these.
  • As part of this process, revisit existing policies and procedures and review them to see if they need updating.

Step three

Use the templates to create action plan/s for each area of the framework that need development (use alongside the maturity model document). The suggested template prompts teams to reflect on current maturity levels, to identify actions, KPIs, investment, responsible owners, relevant stakeholders, supporting resources and documents, and assign priority levels. If several action plans are being developed for one area by different teams (eg faculty level) you should also consider producing a business case that highlights benefits against investment. This business case would augment the action plan when senior leaders consider it.

Adjust the template to suit your own requirements (for example, you may want to break down one aspect in the maturity model into smaller components that can reflect different maturity levels, different priorities and/or different stakeholders). Add new rows and copy the drop-down elements so you can assign specific priorities and maturity levels.

Tips and ideas
  • If you decide to create new rows for any aspect of an element it can be helpful to use the same main row number as used in the maturity model and template to enable future mapping. Use secondary numbers to distinguish your new rows (eg 45.1, 45.2) so everyone can tell which original row the entry relates to.
  • Consider working with other teams producing action plans for the same areas. The benefits will probably outweigh the challenges (eg developing shared language, sharing existing strengths and good practice, adding weight to business cases, revealing gaps and inconsistencies in practice or processes).
  • If you don’t have a senior leader in the team, consider sharing early drafts with one or more to make sure action plans align with strategic aims, visions and organisational values. This could strengthen your plan and business case.
  • If you use the action plan template as a shared document members of the group can contribute in an asynchronous way at a time that suits them. This can mitigate some of the challenges of getting cross-organisational groups together. A combination of collaborative asynchronous work and in person meetings/workshops would be a useful approach.
  • If you need some prompts to help identify actions consider the examples provided in the framework for digital transformation document.

Step four

Senior leaders and governors need to collate and review action plans and business cases to assess and refine strategic priorities, produce an organisation-wide plan/roadmap and allocate investment. This process will be easier for senior leaders if they were involved in producing plans and in the surrounding discussions, as they will have a better understanding of the challenges, benefits and proposed implementation. Timing is a critical factor, as informed decisions are only possible if action plans for each area are submitted around the same time (see step one). This also links to key decision-making committee meetings and schedules.

If the organisation doesn’t already have a strategy for digital transformation the first four steps of this process could inform the development of a specific strategy or the embedding of digital transformation into existing strategies. Some organisations do not produce a specific strategy but focus instead on producing a development/action plan or roadmap. The organisation-wide plan or roadmap should reflect the strategic vision for digital transformation.

You can use the roadmap/action plan template to develop an organisation-wide plan or roadmap after this stage if different teams are producing separate action plans. Leaders need to be able to see the links across the different areas and balance the timing, dependencies and timescales accordingly.

Tips and ideas
  • Senior leaders and governors must be confident and capable digital leaders, so consider this as a high priority (see row three of the maturity model) to ensure the development of a well-informed, organisation-wide strategy and plan.
  • Make good use of digital experts/champions – perhaps develop a new group to oversee the development of a digital transformation strategy and an organisation-wide plan.
  • Make sure all stakeholders have an opportunity to engage with, understand and feed into strategies and plans. This will support the development of a shared understanding around terminology, organisational value and the impact of changes on their work or learning experience.
  • Consider using external experts to help oversee or provide input for the production of an organisation-wide plan as they can offer a fresh perspective, free from existing bias. This can make it easier to balance competing demands.

Step five

Adjust the reviewed individual action plans to align with an organisation-wide plan. New priorities and timescales will be assigned and action plan owners will need to be fully informed of strategic and investment priorities. All stakeholders involved in the plan will need to be informed and prepared for the actions identified (and this may require additional training or development).

Tips and ideas
  • This is a good time to work on stakeholder engagement to develop a shared understanding and commitment to the plan/s.
  • Look at other action plans that have been approved to find synergies, potential linkages or ways of working together. This may have been picked up during step four, but the team may be more informed and better able to spot these.
  • If your proposed action plan has not been approved or has been given a lower priority, work with the team to identify some actions that can be done in advance ready for a later date (eg revise some of the policies, procedures and guidelines, get stakeholders ready by offering training or development opportunities, retain stakeholders’ commitment by addressing easy wins that don’t need a lot of investment). Some of the approved action plans may impact on your priorities going forward, so make sure you continue to review plans (eg investment on digital or physical infrastructure).

Step six

Initiate projects, actions and work to implement action plans. Review and adjust the action plans as appropriate during development. Troubleshoot problems as they arise and record and share solutions. Evaluate the process and outcomes against targets identified in the plans.

Tips and ideas
  • Good project management across all action plans can help to align timescales, identify dependencies and highlight emerging problems.
  • Using IT-based project management approaches can be problematic for projects that focus more on responsive approaches to stakeholder needs and/or practices. Make sure that appropriate methods are used for each project that don’t only focus on the digital aspects.

Step seven

Feed back progress on action plans into the organisation-wide roadmap on a regular basis or at the end of the project/initiative. Successes can be shared more widely, particularly if they can inform future plans or other ongoing work. Celebrating success and articulating the benefits can support ongoing stakeholder engagement.

Step eight

Regularly revisiting and reviewing progress against the organisational digital transformation strategy, roadmap and maturity model allows you to reassess digital maturity and supports identifying new areas for development. Digital transformation strategies and plans should be seen as constantly evolving to reflect external influences and changing organisational practices.

Framework for digital transformation in higher education

The framework for digital transformation in higher education supports the development of a shared understanding of digital transformation across the sector and within HE organisations. It also aims to:

  • encourage a holistic approach – identifying patterns and connections across traditional boundaries
  • encourage collaborative approaches and build on the collective wisdom of the sector and organisations
  • reduce complexity and fragmented processes
  • support HE organisations to articulate a strategic vision for digital transformation and develop actionable plans to achieve this
  • inform decision making and prioritise investment
  • focus on people and practices, not just processes and technology
  • highlight leadership and digital capability as critical success factors

We developed this framework with a range of UK professional bodies: Advance HE, Association for Learning Technology (ALT), Association of Higher Education Professionals (AHEP), Association of University Directors of Estates (AUDE), Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA), Society of College, National and University Libraries (SCONUL), Universities and Colleges Information Systems Association (UCISA), Universities UK (UUK) and Vitae.

We did this to ensure the framework reflects sector priorities and links to key UK HE models and frameworks that are already in use.

Framework for digital transformation: knowledge creation and innovation, knowledge development, organisational digital culture, knowledge management and use, knowledge exchange and partnerships, digital and physical infrastructure

The framework adopts a knowledge practices approach. In addition to the underlying digital and physical infrastructure and the overarching organisational digital culture, the four core knowledge practices focus on the wide range of activities, experiences and practices of an HE organisation:

  • knowledge creation and innovation
  • knowledge development
  • knowledge management and use
  • knowledge exchange and partnerships

This takes the emphasis away from technological or business process approaches and puts the focus on what people do (or need to do) to enhance these practices within the organisation. It also aims to help organisations see patterns, links and synergies across traditional boundaries and encourage all stakeholders to take ownership and engage.

It is important to note that some aspects of, and critical success factors for, digital transformation cut across the whole framework. These include leadership, strategic vision, appropriate investment, equity, diversity and inclusion, environmental sustainability, stakeholder engagement, security and safety, international activities, staff training and development, and digital wellbeing. These are all included within this framework at various points, but relate to specific practices and areas of work for a particular group of staff or other stakeholders.

The framework structure highlights the importance of using information and data intelligently, building on existing collective wisdom. It also emphasises the impact of knowledge creation, innovation and exchange in a global setting through collaborative social and learning networks. You can use the framework to break down various elements of digital transformation activity into achievable goals and actions.

To acknowledge the close relationship between the two, the framework has been mapped to the Higher Education Business Capability Model, part of the Global Higher Education Reference Models (HERM) developed with a formalised partnership with CAUDIT and UCISA). Some organisations may want to align their activities with one or both models.

Download Jisc framework for digital transformation: mapped to the higher education business capability model (docx).

Enterprise Architecture Group - in the UK HE and FE sector - UCISA

Organisational digital culture

This is the overarching element of the framework for digital transformation in higher education. The aspects we’ve covered here are critical to a strategic organisation-wide approach to digital transformation.

The values, beliefs and practices affected by the use of digital technology. Empowering digital culture and leadership (strategy, planning and investment), focusing on core strategies, administrative structures and processes, effective governance, stakeholder support, development and engagement. The organisation’s digital culture also determines its approach to issues such as digital safety and wellbeing, openness, collaboration and equity, diversity and inclusion, as well as how well it implements and adapts to organisational change.

Organisational digital culture: digital culture and mindset, organisational identity, organisational wellbeing, organisational change

Taking this area forward in your own organisation

Assess your digital maturity for organisational digital culture

Download the maturity model for organisational digital culture (pdf)
Download the maturity model for organisational digital culture (docx)

Develop a roadmap and action plans

Download the maturity model action plan for organisational digital culture (docx)

Contact your relationship manager

All Jisc member organisations have a dedicated relationship manager. Yours can help you access our full range of products, services and support.

Inspiration – member stories and case studies

Organisational digital culture is broken down into four areas of activity:

Digital culture and mindset

Includes the attitudes, behaviours, beliefs and practices that shape people’s relationships with digital technologies and the ways these transform organisational activities. It includes how stakeholders approach innovation, collaboration, information sharing and the creation and consumption of digital content, and how these can enhance their work and learning.

Activities/principles/values

These keywords identify cross-cutting concepts used in both the framework and the maturity model. They occur across the different elements.

Accessibility and inclusion | Business continuity planning | Digital capability | Digital confidence | Digital fluency | Digital innovation | Digital leadership | Digital poverty | Digital strategy | Futures thinking | Governance | Human resources | Organisational values | Stakeholder engagement

Examples of potential activities

  • Work with stakeholders to produce a glossary that provides an agreed organisational definition of terminology that reflects the principles and values of the organisation (eg resilience, sustainability, inclusion, graduate attributes, responsible and ethical research and innovation)
  • Develop codes of practice for different areas of business activity that articulate clear expectations around digital practices and behaviour
  • Encourage staff to identify new digital opportunities to improve their working practices and to feed in suggestions via the appropriate approval routes
  • Apply ethical frameworks to ensure staff and learners approve the use of automated notifications
  • Review existing job descriptions and person specifications to ensure that digital capabilities relevant to each role are up to date
  • Provide opportunities for staff and students to self-assess and reflect on their own digital capabilities and develop individual development plans to enhance the areas they identify as important
  • Ensure digital leaders have opportunities to self-assess and reflect on their own digital capabilities and enhance these to model digital confidence to others
  • Give senior leaders the opportunity to attend a digital leadership course
  • Use the Jisc role profiles to consider and baseline digital capabilities for different groups (eg digital leaders, professional services, teachers, students, library staff, learning technologists, researchers)
  • Carry out an organisation-wide audit of manual and digital relationship management systems to develop a coherent and integrated single-source customer relationship management (CRM) system

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Organisational identity

The unique characteristics and qualities that define an organisation and distinguish it from others. Includes digital activities that support the promotion of strategic principles and values, and how these inform business practices and impact on stakeholders.

Activities/principles/values

These keywords identify cross-cutting concepts used in both the framework and the maturity model. They occur across the different elements:

Building digital communities | Business and industry | International activities | Marketing and communications | Sense of belonging

Examples of potential activities

  • Promote and encourage a sense of belonging for all stakeholders and provide a mix of on-site and digital opportunities for them to demonstrate presence and engagement
  • Encourage students to establish and build professional/career-related digital identities throughout their course

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Organisational wellbeing

Building, supporting and maintaining the physical, emotional and mental health and wellbeing of all stakeholders. Includes the impact of living, working and learning with digital technologies, as well as adopting digital approaches to improve and manage the wellbeing of individuals.

Activities/principles/values

These keywords identify cross-cutting concepts used in both the framework and the maturity model. They occur across the different elements:

Accessibility and inclusion | Cyber security | Digital fluency | Digital wellbeing | Economic/financial literacy | Employer relations | Environmental sustainability | Flexible workplace | Human resources | Staff recruitment and retention | Staff support

Examples of potential activities

  • Engage and involve stakeholders to develop shared guidelines and approaches for the use of digital communications to negotiate, argue respectfully, and deal with and respect difference
  • Develop accessibility and inclusion policies, practices, support and guidelines to ensure that all stakeholders have equitable experiences of work and learning
  • Make sure accessibility, inclusion and wellbeing challenges and problems are addressed as a high priority
  • Provide staff with digital tools, apps or services to manage their wellbeing (eg time management, workload prioritisation, screen time) and encourage their use
  • Investigate the ethical use of digital nudges (automated notifications) to monitor wellbeing of staff and/or students
  • Offer remote/hybrid working for appropriate roles to improve recruitment and retention of skilled staff
  • Encourage engagement, reconfigure tasks and events to fit a digital format, and address mental health and equity issues
  • Upgrade or reconfigure workspaces to support a flexible, hybrid work culture (eg upgraded classrooms, conference rooms, shared workspaces)

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Organisational change

Anticipating, managing and responding to the impact of digital transformation activities. Supporting stakeholders to adapt practices, expectations and attitudes through planned initiatives and activities.

Activities/principles/values

These keywords identify cross-cutting concepts used in both the framework and the maturity model. They occur across the different elements:

Baselining | Corporate strategy | Digital innovation | Digital leadership | Digital strategy | Foresight | Governance | Investment | Operational change

Examples of potential activities

  • Ensure senior leaders are clear about their roles as digital leaders and confident to model good digital practice and innovative approaches to others
  • Carry out a review of roles and remits of existing senior management groups/committees in light of development plans, to clarify group responsibilities and identify any gaps in coverage
  • Provide time and space for staff to benefit from digital transformations and ensure recognition and sharing of good practice

How Jisc can support your organisation

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Knowledge creation and innovation

One of the core knowledge practice areas in the framework for digital transformation in higher education.

Analysing emerging trends and developments across all areas of the organisation’s business to inform policy and development. Enhancing knowledge creation and innovation through research and collaborative activities. Considering the wider impact on local, regional, national or international communities.

Knowledge creation and innovation: digital vision and horizon scanning, research, innovation, impact

Taking this area forward in your own organisation

Assess your digital maturity for knowledge creation and innovation

Download the maturity model for knowledge creation and innovation (pdf)
Download the maturity model for knowledge creation and innovation (docx)

Develop a roadmap and action plans

Download the maturity model action plan for knowledge creation and innovation (docx)

Contact your relationship manager

All Jisc member organisations have a dedicated relationship manager. Yours can help you access our full range of products, services and support.

Inspiration – member stories and case studies

Knowledge creation and innovation is broken down into four areas of activity:

Digital vision and horizon scanning

Looking ahead to anticipate and prepare for the impact of current and future digital trends on the sector and on organisational priorities and activities. Enabling senior leaders to gather foresight to inform strategic planning and decision making.

Activities/principles/values

These keywords identify cross-cutting concepts used in both the framework and the maturity model. They occur across the different elements:

Benchmarking | Digital creativity | Digital leadership | Digital vision | Foresight | Futures thinking | Horizon scanning | International activities | Industry trends | Strategic planning | Sector trends

Examples of potential activities

  • Develop a series of visioning workshops for senior leaders
  • Encourage leaders and governors to be aware of digital transformations in industry, research and development, education and business sectors, and consider how to incorporate appropriate new practices and approaches into the organisation (e.g. curriculum development, knowledge practices)
  • Create a futures-thinking or foresight framework for the organisation that supports policy decision making

How Jisc can support your organisation

Services
Groups
Reports
Guides

Research

Providing a robust infrastructure to support research. Includes strategic approaches, appropriate investment in digital systems, environments, processes and technologies, and attracting, enabling, developing and supporting researchers.

Activities/principles/values

These keywords identify cross-cutting concepts used in both the framework and the maturity mode. They occur across the different elements:

Building digital communities | Digital strategy | Ethics | International activities | Library and learning resources | Open research | Research collaboration | Research management and support | Research skills development and training | Research support

Examples of potential activities

  • Enable interdisciplinary approaches to research through digitally -connected communities
  • Provide access to appropriate scale and type of research infrastructure
  • Identify routes to access appropriate technologies (e.g. high-performance computing) within or outside the organisation to support high complexity/high capacity research
  • Provide adequate, well-managed research data storage
  • Provide secure access to open research data management infrastructure and policies to support clear research data lifecycle provision, including preservation and disposal
  • Ensure that effective content management systems are developed, used and maintained to support storage, retrieval and access to research and enterprise outputs, including internal and external digital repositories
  • Identify routes to managing physical research assets and equipment digitally to support a sustainable research estate
  • Identify routes for researchers to access research software and data-engineering services where appropriate
  • Offer research software engineering services to researchers to develop and improve code for specific research projects
  • Reduce bureaucracy and administrative burdens on researchers by streamlining and simplifying the research management process
  • Ensure that effective and interoperable research management processes, systems and technology are available and well managed

How Jisc can support your organisation

Services
Groups
Reports
Guides

Innovation

Supporting the development of new ideas and solutions by encouraging creativity, enterprise and supporting digital leadership. Aligning appropriate innovation with strategic aspirations, existing practice, legacy systems and processes.

Activities/principles/values

These keywords identify cross-cutting concepts used in both the framework and the maturity model. They occur across the different elements:

Community collaboration | Digital creativity | Digital leadership | Digital strategy

Examples of potential activities

  • Enable recognition, recruitment, development and retention of creative digital practitioners in professional roles
  • Encourage and support staff to take calculated risks and experiment with technologies
  • Develop a ring-fenced innovation budget to support initial development of ideas
  • Provide opportunities for students to be involved as partners in research-informed digital innovation
  • Create new events, awards, initiatives and funding streams to support digital creativity
  • Support centres of excellence in digital fields and leverage their expertise within the organisation
  • Enable an enterprise culture and support initiatives that contribute to the wider community; build entrepreneurship skills in students

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Groups
Guides

Wider impact

Ensuring research and innovation projects are analysed for their impact, and appropriately disseminated to different audiences.

Activities/principles/values

These keywords identify cross-cutting concepts used in both the framework and the maturity model. They occur across the different elements:

Building digital communities | International activities | Local community | Local/regional/national/ impact | Marketing and communications

Examples of potential activities

  • Ensure staff and students have the appropriate technologies, support and training to produce digital content for different audiences
  • Maintain efficient marketing communications channels to ensure that organisational outputs and key messages are effectively managed, stored, branded, and disseminated

Knowledge development

One of the core knowledge practice areas in the framework for digital transformation in higher education.

Supporting knowledge development within the organisation to ensure all stakeholders can learn, work and thrive in a digital environment. Rethinking and enhancing digital learning, teaching and assessment.

Knowledge development: curriculum development, digital learning, digital teaching, learner experience

Taking this area forward in your own organisation

Assess your digital maturity for knowledge development

Download the maturity model for knowledge development (pdf)
Download the maturity model for knowledge development (docx)

Develop a roadmap and action plans

Download the maturity model action plan for knowledge development (docx)

Contact your relationship manager

All Jisc member organisations have a dedicated relationship manager. Yours can help you access our full range of products, services and support.

Inspiration – member stories and case studies

Knowledge development is broken down into four areas of activity:

Curriculum development

Reviewing, planning and developing a course of study. Usually a formal departmental and institutional process, mapped to graduate outcomes, benchmarks and professional standards, producing specific documentation (e.g. course handbook, schedule, VLE materials).

Activities/principles/values

These keywords identify cross-cutting concepts used in both the framework and the maturity model. They occur across the different elements:

Assessment and feedback | Curriculum design | Curriculum frameworks | Digital capability | Digital strategy | International activities | Learning design | Learning models | Learning resources | Learning teaching and assessment strategy | Validation

Examples of potential activities

  • Work to transform and develop courses across the organisation according to changing strategic visions, employer needs, and/or frameworks such as active blended learning, personalised learning, hybrid learning, and transdisciplinary learning
  • Reconsider and redesign traditional assessment and feedback to realise the affordances of digital approaches, ensuring staff and students have the required digital capabilities
  • Explore economic models for offering blended learning at scale
  • Identify and implement new international programmes of study
  • Consider new global markets for popular courses in light of increased digital learning capacity and staff capability
  • Explore how digital and physical spaces are being/could be used to provide enhanced opportunities for student flexibility and engagement

How Jisc can support your organisation

Services
Groups
Reports
Guides

Digital learning

Learning that takes place through digital devices, media and environments, or with digital applications. Digital learning may take place live and in -person, live online, or through asynchronous resources and environments. Includes digital learning and development of staff, as well as formal or informal learning of students.

Activities/principles/values

These keywords identify cross-cutting concepts used in both the framework and the maturity model. They occur across the different elements:

Accessibility and inclusion | Digital capability | Digital poverty | Effective digital learners | E-portfolios | Flexible learning | Flexible workplace | Learning spaces | Library and learning resources | Personalised learning | Self regulation | Staff development | Staff recruitment and retention | Student choice | Student learning | Student progression | Student support | Study spaces

Examples of potential activities

  • Use a balance of in -person and digital methods to provide timely and appropriate feedback throughout a course to allow students to self-regulate their learning
  • Encourage and support learners to self-assess, identify and articulate their digital and study preferences and needs through a mixture of in person and digital diagnostic methods
  • Offer learners regular opportunities to assess their digital learning capabilities and identify what support they need to build on these
  • Provide learners with appropriate digital tools and encouragement/support to reflect on their learning (eg e-portfolios, personal blogs)
  • Provide opportunities for curriculum teams to assess and reflect on their levels of digital capability and identify areas for professional development opportunities for student flexibility and engagement

How Jisc can support your organisation

Services
Reports
Guides

Digital teaching

Teaching through digital devices, media and environments, or with digital applications. Digital teaching may take place live and in person, live online or by supporting students with a variety of asynchronous resources and environments. Also supporting students with their digital learning skills.

Activities/principles/values

These keywords identify cross-cutting concepts used in both the framework and the maturity model. They occur across the different elements:

Assessment and feedback | Digital capability | Data analytics | Learning environments | Learning infrastructure | Learning technologists | Learning resources | Library and learning resources | Open educational practice (OEP) | Open educational resources (OERs) | Staff development | Student support

Examples of potential activities

  • Establish a set of metrics and analytics that can be used to measure the success of digital learning beyond simplistic data such as attendance and retention
  • Invest in self-access resources to support the development of digital capabilities among staff
  • Explore or research the use of AI to provide a personalised learning experience that identifies and responds to the needs and preferences of learners
  • Provide opportunities for teaching staff to share digital practices and expertise formally and informally
  • Ensure there is recognition and reward for teaching staff who develop their digital capabilities (e.g. appraisal, grading, time allocation, career opportunities, specialist roles, link to teaching excellence)
  • Redesign the management and delivery of assessment and feedback mechanisms
  • Leverage technologies to scale delivery of high-quality services to students located anywhere in the world
  • Adapt quality improvement processes to support the adoption of digital approaches to learning, teaching and assessment
  • Work with stakeholders to identify barriers to the adoption of technologies related to blended/hybrid learning and find ways to deal with this equitably (eg cameras on/ off for remote students, environmental impact of digital interactions)
  • Identify alternative means to support knowledge practice for people who are unable to access in person spaces or equipment (eg games, simulations)
  • Work with other HEIs as consortia to advocate with publishers for increased availability and affordability of e-books

How Jisc can support your organisation

Services
Groups
Reports
Guides

Learner experience

The subjective experience of learning overall, including the taught curriculum and non-curricular activities such as private study, learning skills support, library resources, careers support and informal collaborative learning. Also includes aspects of emotional and personal wellbeing.

Activities / principles / values

These keywords identify cross-cutting concepts used in both the framework and the maturity model. They occur across the different elements:

Accessibility and inclusion | Building digital communities | Digital fluency | Digital participation | Digital wellbeing | International activities | Sense of belonging | Student experience | Student support

Examples of potential activities

  • Embrace the notion of presence (for staff and students), which can be demonstrated synchronously or asynchronously, as an alternative to contact hours
  • Include students’ digital wellbeing in wider student wellbeing initiatives and services
  • Take an active interest in the digital experience of learners through research, surveys and/or consultations
  • Use technology to provide personalised, adaptive learning and assessment
  • Provide effective careers support, employment brokering and employment-based skills development, through a balance of technological and in person approaches
  • Survey students about their access to technology, connectivity and learning spaces before they start their course to find out what additional support they might need
  • Ensure that international and transnational education (TNE) students have the support they need to experience a sense of belonging and to learn effectively
  • Consider students’ global mobility and the impact this might have on access to services, learning and support

How Jisc can support your organisation

Services
Reports
Guides

Knowledge management and use

One of the core knowledge practice areas in the framework for digital transformation in higher education.

Enhancing access to, and use of, information and data to support all areas of the organisation, including research and teaching. Enabling the collation, preservation, management, sharing and use of information and data to inform decision making.

Knowledge management and use: information management and use, data management and use, business intelligence, decision making

Taking this area forward in your own organisation

Assess your digital maturity for knowledge management and use

Download the maturity model for knowledge management and use (pdf)
Download the maturity model for knowledge management and use (docx)

Develop a roadmap and action plans

Download the maturity model action plan for knowledge management and use (docx)

Contact your relationship manager

All Jisc member organisations have a dedicated relationship manager. Yours can help you access our full range of products, services and support.

Inspiration – member stories and case studies

Knowledge management and use is broken down into four areas of activity:

Information management and use

Practices and procedures around collecting, organising, storing and sharing information in a way that allows for efficient retrieval and use. This includes information created by the organisation and that provided by third parties.

Activities/principles/values

These keywords identify cross-cutting concepts used in both the framework and the maturity model. They occur across the different elements:

Collection management | Digital information | Digital media | Digital preservation | Information literacy | Information strategy | Information storage and retrieval | Library and learning resources | Management information | Study spaces

Examples of potential activities

  • Use digital information to support effective organisational planning and decision making, problem solving, and monitoring of organisational performance
  • Ensure staff and students can critically evaluate digital information in terms of its accuracy, provenance, relevance, value and credibility
  • Produce guidelines on copyright, data protection, information security, open licensing, and intellectual property rights (IPR) so staff and students are fully informed around legal requirements and organisational principles
  • Investigate the use of AI in the provision of information/library services
  • Identify responsibility for the archiving of the organisation

How Jisc can support your organisation

Services
Guides

Data management and use

Practices and procedures around collecting, organising, storing and sharing data in a way that allows for efficient analysis and use that supports a data-enabled organisation. This includes ethical use, quality, governance, standards, security and compliance around all forms of data.

Activities/principles/values

These keywords identify cross-cutting concepts used in both the framework and the maturity model. They occur across the different elements:

Business processes and operations | Compliance | Cyber security | Data architecture | Data analytics | Data ethics | Data literacy | Data privacy | Data quality | Data strategy | Enterprise architecture | Ethics | Security and business continuity

Examples of potential activities

  • Review existing policies and practices to reform and upgrade data management practices, systems and services
  • Engage with stakeholders to understand and critique the role of data in the organisation and more widely in society
  • Share data openly (where this does not conflict with data privacy and security) for societal learning and scholarship
  • Identify all sources of data across the organisation to support a better understanding of the learner experience and to use this to improve learner outcomes (e.g. use of library resources, engagement with the VLE etc.)

How Jisc can support your organisation

Services
Reports
Guides

Business intelligence (BI)

The collection, management and use of data and information to inform business decisions and strategies. It comprises the strategies and technologies used by enterprises for data analysis and management of business information.

Activities/principles/values

These keywords identify cross-cutting concepts used in both the framework and the maturity model. They occur across the different elements:

Baselining | Benchmarking | BI strategy | Business continuity planning | Digital leadership | Digital strategy | Ethical systems and processes | Forecasting | Horizon scanning | Management information | Market intelligence | Openness and transparency

Examples of potential activities

  • Gather market intelligence to benchmark the organisational position (e.g. research performance)
  • Ensure leaders and governors are aware of digital transformations in industry, education and business sectors and support new practices and approaches into the organisation as appropriate (e.g. curriculum development, knowledge practices)
  • Consider how information is used internally and highlight this (e.g. local labour market intelligence to identify career opportunities for students, student admissions trends to consider future size and shape)
  • Gain consensus on priorities for reporting ­­– what information is essential for decision making and who should provide it?
  • Provide access to appropriate user-defined data dashboards for people in different roles across the organisation
  • Create a roadmap for implementing business intelligence services, considering interim measures where needed
  • Prioritise the collection of data needed to achieve goals (e.g. attendance monitoring in place for learning analytics)

How Jisc can support your organisation

Services
Reports

Decision making

Evaluating evidence and business intelligence to identify options and make choices about all aspects of business, including investment and planning to achieve strategic goals.

Activities/principles/values

These keywords identify cross-cutting concepts in both the framework and the maturity model. They occur across the different elements:

Digital confidence | Digital evidence | Digital fluency | Digital leadership | Digital vision | Problem solving

Examples of potential activities

  • Understand business processes in different contexts across the organisation and how digital enables and constrains these (e.g. education, research, support)
  • Give governors and senior leaders access to information and data that supports decision making and planning

How Jisc can support your organisation

Services

Knowledge exchange and partnerships

One of the core knowledge practice areas in the framework for digital transformation in higher education.

Enhancing knowledge exchange to communicate and disseminate key organisational messages, and encourage collaboration and community participation of all partners/stakeholders.

Knowledge exchange and partnerships: communication, collaboration, community participation, relationship management

Taking this area forward in your own organisation

Assess your digital maturity for knowledge exchange and partnerships

Download the maturity model for knowledge exchange and partnerships (pdf)
Download the maturity model for knowledge exchange and partnerships (docx)

Develop a roadmap and action plans

Download the maturity model action plan for knowledge exchange and partnerships (docx)

Contact your relationship manager

All Jisc member organisations have a dedicated relationship manager. Yours can help you access our full range of products, services and support.

Inspiration – member stories and case studies

Knowledge exchange and partnerships is broken down into four areas of activity:

Communication

How the organisation uses digital technology and networks to enhance and support communication between stakeholders, as well as disseminating key messages outside the organisation.

Activities/principles/values

These keywords identify cross-cutting concepts in both the framework and the maturity model. They occur across the different elements:

Accessibility and inclusion | Digital communication | Digital etiquette | Digital media | Digital networks | Marketing and communications | Organisational communication | Social networking

Examples of potential activities

  • Work with stakeholders to create digital communication guidelines that are inclusive (eg codes of conduct, email etiquette, managing online behaviour)
  • Establish a culture of zero tolerance for online harassment and bullying
  • Work with stakeholders to consider how different digital formats and messages achieve different purposes, and how far digital media and networks influence social behaviour
  • Develop guidelines for online synchronous and asynchronous communication approaches to ensure all stakeholders enjoy a consistent, fair experience

How Jisc can support your organisation

Services
Groups
Reports
Guides

Collaboration

How the organisation uses digital technology to help stakeholders work with others to achieve specific goals. This includes supportive, secure and inclusive working and learning practices.

Activities/principles/values

These keywords identify cross-cutting concepts used in both the framework and the maturity model. They occur across the different elements:

Accessibility and inclusion | Community collaboration | Digital collaboration | International activities | Open sharing | Staff collaboration | Student collaboration

Examples of potential activities

  • Ensure that systems and procedures for safe and secure data sharing support collaborative activities across the organisation
  • Work with stakeholders to create rules and guidelines for effective and inclusive digital collaboration inside and outside the organisation
  • Consider how to work with TNE partners to share systems and technologies and identify potential challenges and risks

How Jisc can support your organisation

Services
Groups
Reports
Guides

Community participation

Encouraging stakeholders to engage with, and participate in, decision-making processes that affect them. Enabling and supporting stakeholders to participate in wider community activities. Ensuring equitable and inclusive experiences of digital participation.

Activities/principles/values

These keywords identify cross-cutting concepts used in both the framework and the maturity model. They occur across the different elements:

Accessibility and inclusion | Building digital communities | Community collaboration | Digital participation | Local community | Regional growth | Sense of belonging

Examples of potential activities

  • Contribute towards local and regional industry and business to drive innovation and economic growth
  • Link with cultural and social initiatives in the local community or region to enrich the experience of staff and students and encourage social and environmental change

How Jisc can support your organisation

Groups
News features

Relationship management

Using digital technologies to build and maintain positive relationships with and between stakeholders to ensure engagement, feedback and involvement as partners. Includes working, learning and wider community relationships.

Activities/principles/values

These keywords identify cross-cutting concepts used in both the framework and the maturity model. They occur across the different elements:

Business and industry | Customer relations | Employer relations | External relations | Human resources | International activities | Local community | Partnerships | Stakeholder engagement

Examples of potential activities

  • Enable and encourage students to develop and build relationships with potential local, regional, national and international employers
  • Develop and maintain strong and lasting relationships with alumni

How Jisc can support your organisation

Groups
Reports
Guides

Digital and physical infrastructure

The underpinning element of the framework for digital transformation in higher education. The aspects included here are critical to the infrastructure needed to support digital transformation.

Providing robust and secure infrastructure through relevant expertise and vision, including appropriate investment in networks, systems, hardware, software and digitally equipped physical spaces, and ensuring effective management and standards compliance.

Digital and physical infrastructure: robust digital infrastructure, digital connectivity and security, digital support, estates management

Taking this area forward in your own organisation

Assess your digital maturity for digital and physical infrastructure

Download the maturity model for digital and physical infrastructure (pdf)
Download the maturity model for digital and physical infrastructure (docx)

Developing a roadmap and plan of action planning

Download the maturity model action plan for digital and physical infrastructure (docx)

Contact your relationship manager

All Jisc member organisations have a dedicated relationship manager. Yours can help you access our full range of products, services and support.

Inspiration – member stories and case studies

Digital and physical infrastructure is broken down into four areas of activity:

Robust digital infrastructure

Planning, investing and maintaining a comprehensive, secure and reliable system of technology and equipment that supports the efficient operation and growth of an organisation.

Activities/principles/values

These keywords identify cross-cutting concept used in both the framework and the maturity model. They occur across the different elements:

Accessibility and inclusion | Application architecture | Business continuity planning | Business processes and operations | Corporate strategy | Cyber security | Data architecture | Data creation and management | Data privacy | Digital leadership | Digital poverty | Digital strategy | Enterprise architecture | Environmental sustainability | Governance | Horizon scanning | International activities | Investment | IT strategy | Local/regional/national contexts and intelligence | Requirements gathering | Sector intelligence | Security and business continuity | Stakeholder engagement | Sustainability

Examples of potential activities

  • Establish horizon scanning activities that enable all stakeholder groups to participate and contribute
  • Carry out regular review audits to map dataflows, workflows and processes across different functions to inform digital strategy
  • Ensure digital planning is coordinated with other relevant plans and strategies (eg estates, learning, teaching and assessment, student experience, research, information and communication, international, IT, corporate plan)
  • Develop a cross-organisational steering group to take digital strategies and plans forward
  • Implement strategic digital visions as appropriate through digital leadership and effective governance (e.g. cloud first, mobile first, digital first, people first, sustainability)
  • Balance investment and effort to refresh, consolidate and/or integrate existing/legacy systems and services and develop new ones as appropriate
  • Plan for changing investment and procurement in the switch from majority capital expenditure to majority revenue expenditure (e.g. move to cloud services)
  • Plan for a balanced investment between fixed computing and resources/facilities for personal device use (e.g. under a bring-your-own or leasing policy)
  • Coordinate software purchasing, licensing and access across diverse parts of the organisation to maximise efficiency and availability and minimise risk
  • Ensure digital infrastructure planning and decisions take account of the diverse needs of staff and students, particularly those at risk of exclusion through issues such as poverty, disability, mental health, physical location, language, or any other access difficulties
  • Ensure that digital infrastructure decisions and activities do not create barriers to participation, working or learning
  • Ensure digital infrastructure planning and decisions are considered against organisational targets for environmental sustainability (e.g. energy use, carbon footprint, net zero)
  • Ensure that virtual environments reflect and are representative of diversity in the real world
  • Provide opportunities for all stakeholders to proactively engage in the design of the digital environment
  • Provide and maintain secure systems, services and content (e.g. cyber security protections and protocols)
  • Establish an incremental plan, targets and a roadmap to implement and/or integrate new systems, platforms, or applications to ensure minimum disruption to established business activities
  • Develop and support systems and services that enable effective and ethical collection and use of high-quality, secure data (e.g. business intelligence architecture, data centres, data dashboards, high performance computing (HPC), data visualisation) and procedures

How Jisc can support your organisation

Services
Groups
Reports
Guides

Digital connectivity

Ensuring secure and reliable connections between stakeholders, business processes and data and networks within the organisation, as well as facilitating connectivity with appropriate external networks.

Activities/principles/values

These keywords identify cross-cutting concepts used in both the framework and the maturity model. They occur across the different elements:

Accessibility and inclusion | Business continuity planning | Building digital communities | Cyber security | Digital poverty | Digital networks | Security and business continuity

Examples of potential activities

  • Establish organisational guidelines for the impact of digital connectivity on the environment; suggest ways to mitigate this through changing practice (e.g. ways to address the carbon footprint of sending and storing emails)
  • Carry out ongoing monitoring of network usage, performance and capacity, and highlight aspects that present current or future challenges (e.g. e-sports, e-science)
  • Ensure websites, digital services and apps provided through the organisation are accessible across multiple platforms/devices and comply with accessibility standards and regulations
  • Ensure no one is disadvantaged by accessing outdated, less secure services and systems
  • Consider the challenges, technical impacts and potential restrictions of global interconnectivity
  • Establish appropriate plans and policies that specifically focus on data privacy and ethics, and cyber security issues that are unique to work-from-home environments
  • Expand, upgrade and adopt digital security measures such as multi-factor authentication (MFA), password tools, threat detection, monitoring, ransomware protection software and endpoint and wifi security
  • Work to achieve ISO 270001 certification to manage information security
  • Work with and access specialist services to support incident response, forensics and the recovery of organisational digital estates, to mitigate the impact of attacks
  • Access appropriate services to support cyber security activities (e.g. Cyber Essentials), and participate in events and activities to support threat intelligence sharing

How Jisc can support your organisation

Services
Groups
Guides

Digital support

Resources, services and assistance provided to help stakeholders use digital technologies effectively for work, learning or research.

Activities/principles/values

These keywords identify cross-cutting concepts used in both the framework and the maturity model. They occur across the different elements:

Digital champions | Digital capability | Digital learning champions | Learning technologists | Staff support | Student support

Examples of potential activities

  • Manage roll-out and training for new digital systems and major updates
  • Establish a shared understanding of the differences between IT support and supporting a range of different digital practices (eg digital learning, digital research, data analytics)

How Jisc can support your organisation

Blogs

Estates management

Planning, development, administration and maintenance of physical estates that are financially and environmentally sustainable, with buildings that are fit for purpose. Ensuring that physical and virtual infrastructure integrate efficiently and effectively to deliver strategic objectives.

Activities/principles/values

These keywords identify cross-cutting concepts used in both the framework and the maturity model. They occur across the different elements:

Digital strategy | Environmental sustainability | Estates strategy | Intelligent campus | IT strategy | Learning environments | Learning spaces | Library and learning resources | Study spaces

Examples of potential activities

  • Carry out a full audit of teaching rooms, their purpose or configurability and the equipment in them – including rooms with specialist facilities
  • Streamline systems across the organisation to facilitate room and equipment booking and measure room use to ensure physical spaces support current practice
  • Use data from intelligent environments to identify traffic and use of campus spaces to support ongoing improvement and development
  • Provide virtual tours for people who cannot access physical spaces
  • Provide a variety of bookable hybrid and virtual spaces
  • Include the effective pedagogical use of learning spaces and equipment in the plan for developing digital capability of teaching staff and provide training materials and support for staff and students who use the spaces
  • Consider furniture, room layout, technology use and pedagogical approaches in different learning spaces to ensure flexible options are available. Consider limitations that may impact on learning and teaching in a blended/hybrid context
  • Assess the level of technical support required to maintain (and keep current) the large number of technology-equipped rooms. Ensure that a sufficient and appropriate mix of technical, administrative and teaching support is available

How Jisc can support your organisation

Blog posts
Guides

Maturity model for digital transformation in higher education

The maturity model for digital transformation provides a structure to help UK HE providers assess their digital maturity across all aspects of business. The structure aligns with the Jisc framework for digital transformation.

When identifying digital maturity HE providers need to benchmark themselves against the sector, as well as set their own baseline from which to move forward. Defining digital maturity is an important step in producing a digital transformation strategy and creating actionable plans.

The model provides a common language for HE providers to discuss digital transformation and share best practices across the organisation and the sector.

Maturity levels

The three levels of maturity: emerging to established, established to enhanced, enhanced to mature

The model consists of three levels of digital maturity. They can be assessed against each aspect of activity identified in the framework. The model provides a description of each level for all areas of the framework to illustrate the benefits and outcomes of progressing through the levels. The description is also intended to help organisations identify their own levels.

  • Emerging to established – reactive stage
    • Lack of strategic digital leadership
    • Short-term investment
    • Unintegrated systems and operations
    • Lack of innovation
    • Lack of widespread stakeholder understanding and engagement
    • Dispersed, project-based digital activities
  • Established to enhanced – proactive stage
    • Developing a proactive strategic approach
    • Enabling effective digital leadership
    • Making efforts to integrate systems and operations
    • Engaging and upskilling all stakeholders
    • Moving towards service delivery model
  • Enhanced to mature – integrated stage
    • Comprehensive and integrated strategic approaches
    • Effective digital leadership
    • Long-term and adaptable planning and investment
    • Integrated, efficient systems and operations
    • Engaged, informed and appropriately skilled stakeholders
    • Partnership approaches to innovation
    • Longer term service delivery model approach (less project based)

Using the maturity model

We have segmented the model down into the six element headings of the framework to help organisations break down the task. However, it is important to note that, because many aspects occur across the different elements, senior leaders need an overview of maturity levels across the whole organisation.

The model is a practical document that will evolve into a specific record of your organisation's maturity levels and progress. We offer it as a series of word templates so you can customise it fully to reflect your organisation's baseline state. It uses drop-down lists that prompt you to identify the maturity level for each area and also asks you to identify your progress for that area as follows:

  • Not started/not planned
  • Not started/planned
  • Started
  • Nearly there
  • Done – ongoing review

Download a pdf or Word version of the maturity model, which you can use and adapt to assess your own digital maturity and identify your progress towards achieving maturity for each area.

Download the maturity model for digital transformation (pdf)
Download the maturity model for digital transformation (docx)
Download the maturity model for organisational digital culture (pdf)
Download the maturity model for organisational digital culture (docx)
Download the maturity model for knowledge creation and innovation (pdf)
Download the maturity model for knowledge creation and innovation (docx)
Download the maturity model for knowledge development (pdf)
Download the maturity model for knowledge development (docx)
Download the maturity model for knowledge management and use (pdf)
Download the maturity model for knowledge management and use (docx)
Download the maturity model for knowledge exchange and partnerships (pdf)
Download the maturity model for knowledge exchange and partnerships (docx)
Download the maturity model for digital and physical infrastructure (pdf)
Download the maturity model for digital and physical infrastructure (docx)

Complementary maturity models

Our maturity model covers the whole business of an HE provider. We know that other maturity models can inform specific aspects of work, like data or enterprise architecture and we have developed a reference guide of other maturity models that might be used already, or may be helpful to focus on specific areas in more detail. We have also highlighted non-UK initiatives in this area.

Download maturity model mapping to complementary models (docx)
Download maturity model mapping to complementary models (pdf)

Developing a roadmap to success

There comes a point in the digital transformation process when you need to translate your vision into practical plans. An organisation-wide roadmap can provide an overview of how the organisation intends to turn the strategic vision into reality and give clear outlines of how the plan affects different departments, teams and practices. It can articulate the timelines, investment and measures of success. At the other end of the scale, more specific action plans can focus on particular areas, departments or initiatives to capture the detail, ownership and progress towards goals.

The process of creating roadmaps or action plans can inform or feed into the development of a digital transformation strategy or help with reviewing and adjusting an existing strategy. It can also be used to consider digital aspects of all existing organisational strategies.

Action plan template

We offer a series of practical templates for organisations to produce detailed actionable plans to enhance their digital maturity. The templates prompt organisations to reflect on current maturity levels, to identify actions, KPIs, investment, responsible owners, relevant stakeholders, supporting resources and documents and assign priority levels. Each template is a companion document to both the framework and the maturity model and is structured in the same way. It can be used at organisation-wide level to produce a roadmap and/or at faculty/school/department level to produce action plans.

The template is best used as a collaborative online document that reflects your specific plans and context. It can be broken down and adapted as appropriate for each organisation. The table includes blank spaces to be completed as an action plan is developed.

It uses drop-down lists to record maturity level, progress and priority (which links to drop-down lists proposed in the maturity model document). The second column includes original elements from the framework for digital transformation and the numbering of rows directly correlates to the rows in the maturity model.

Download the maturity model action plan and roadmap (docx)
Download the maturity model action plan for organisational digital culture (docx)
Download the maturity model action plan for knowledge creation and innovation (docx)
Download the maturity model action plan for knowledge development (docx)
Download the maturity model action plan for knowledge management and use (docx)
Download the maturity model action plan for knowledge exchange and partnerships (docx)
Download the maturity model action plan for digital and physical infrastructure (docx)

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This guide is made available under Creative Commons License (CC BY-NC-ND).