Digital Transformation: Four Lessons [video]

min read

The EDUCAUSE Showcase "How Dx Powers the Post-Pandemic Institution" offers four lessons for digital transformation.

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Susan Grajek
Vice President, Partnerships, Communities, and Research

Along with moving everything online during the pandemic, institutions reexamined their business models and considered new ways to provide value.

They found themselves taking digital transformation on, whether they were ready or not, just to survive. It's time to take advantage of that momentum and build on it.

EDUCAUSE's Showcase on digital transformation offers 4 lessons. Let's explore them, learn how to act on them, and put them in context.

It's time for higher education to transform, as UVU President Astrid S Tuminez describes.

Since the pandemic many more institutions began Dx journeys. EDUCAUSE's recent Dx QuickPoll showed an enormous 31 percentage point jump in the number of institutions that are engaging in Dx today, compared with the fall before the pandemic.

So it's time to learn about what Dx really is. EDUCAUSE has some useful resources to help you learn, including a solid definition, a slide deck you can use to introduce Dx with a group of people at your institution, And a special website to help guide your learning.

Cost, getting buy-in, and being technically prepared are all barriers that may make it hard for your digital transformation efforts. The biggest, though, is insufficient cross-institutional coordination.

In recent case study research sponsored by Spectrum, EDUCAUSE described Arizona State University's Technology Office. They're improving cross-institutional coordination by changing the IT culture to become more collaborative and proactive. They've hired a new chief culture officer and built positive core values and leadership principles.

It helps to understand more about your institution's readiness for digital transformation. EDUCAUSE has a Dx self-assessment you can take to identify areas to focus on.

Digital transformation is a series of journeys during which the institution focuses on particular outcomes – like enrollment – and makes the shifts in culture, workforce, and technology that are required to achieve those outcomes. Over time, changes in the institution's culture, workforce, and technology accrue to enable even greater transformation to achieve even more ambitious objectives.

EDUCAUSE has a tool you can use to start drafting your next Dx journey. Our Dx strategy-on-a-page helps you work with a group at your institution to clarify the impact you hope to have and then the work you'll need to do to get there.

The pandemic has focused institutions on transforming teaching and learning so they can happen well, anyplace and anytime.

According to Hodges and McCullough's EDUCAUSE Review article, involving faculty in Dx is more possible than ever. They described a UNC Charlotte initiative to help faculty use the LMS to its full potential. They created two tools, a standard LMS course template for any faculty member to download and adapt, and a customizable checklist for online course design.

And so we've learned four lessons from EDUCAUSE's Digital Transformation Showcase. Where do we go from here?

The 2021 IT Issues report suggests three scenarios for higher education. One of them is Transform, or redefining the institution and taking an active role in creating the innovative future of higher education.

Institutions on the transformational path have already begun their Dx journeys and are shifting their culture, workforce, and technology to help the institution achieve transformational outcomes. For those just beginning to explore Dx, remember our four lessons and learn about Dx, know where you stand, design your upcoming Dx journey, and consider a journey for faculty.