Report: “Driving Digital Transformation in Higher Education”
- We cannot ignore digital transformation (Dx). The importance of Dx has been growing in recent years and is expected to continue to grow.
- Few say their institution is currently engaged in digital transformation, but many are preparing to do so. Slightly more than half of respondents said they think their institution is either not yet engaged with Dx but is exploring it or is not engaged in Dx at all. However, almost one-third report that their institution is developing a Dx strategy.
- Optimism about achieving Dx in the near future is high. Respondents think their institution can make significant strides toward digital transformation in the next five years. Those who have yet to start thinking about Dx are expected to be significantly behind those already planning and implementing Dx approaches.
- Perceptions about who is aware of, understands, and supports Dx vary widely by campus role. Groups that are closer to technology and digital innovations (e.g., CIOs, librarians, directors of institutional research, and student success leaders) are believed to both understand and support Dx efforts more than those in other groups. Executives and administrators are thought to have a long way to go to develop awareness and understanding of Dx.
- Dx is a student-centered endeavor. The major benefits and drivers for engaging in digital transformation are related to the student experience and student success efforts. Dx is also seen as potentially beneficial to improving the institution’s reputation, competing with institutional peers, and improving the financial health of the institution.
- The impact of Dx across institutional functions varies widely so far. The digital transformation of institutional functions is an uneven process, with some functions (e.g., central IT, libraries) being significantly more advanced along the path to Dx than others (e.g., community partnerships, faculty promotion and tenure).
- The greatest barriers to Dx are the usual suspects: culture change and cost. Not having information digitized and processes digitalized are also seen as barriers to Dx. Privacy is considered to be the lowest barrier to carrying out Dx initiatives.
About Gary Price
Gary Price (email@example.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com.