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Digital Transformation on the College of Adelaide


This submit was authored by Bev Wright, CIO  for the College of Adelaide in Adelaide, South Australia

The College of Adelaide is a public analysis college in Australia that could be a member of the Group of Eight, a distinction equal to the Ivy League in the USA. We now have over 23,000 college students, together with worldwide college students from over 100 international locations. I commenced with the college in 2017 as solely the second CIO with the duty of reimagining the function and construction of the Info Expertise and Digital Companies (ITDS).  Previous to 2015, IT was largely decentralized. IT employees had been situated inside the useful departments they supported, and choices had been made in that localized setting reasonably than consideration of a extra centralized overarching enterprise degree method to know-how. IT was seen extra as an order taker and had restricted affect on strategic choices. As well as, the funding mannequin and understanding the price of IT techniques and initiatives was complicated as they had been funded from a number of sources.

Creating transformative change

In 2017, the mandate was to create transformative change and shift the know-how perform to a strategic enterprise associate transferring from “Service Supplier” to “Enterprise Enabler”. To assist this functionality, we undertook a spread of actions, they included an IT maturity evaluation that highlighted our areas of enchancment essential to assist the long run wants, improvement of an IT funding technique that supported our “Future Making” strategic plan.  Monetary evaluation of IT working and funding ranges. This plan additionally included a brand new working mannequin for the ITDS perform that recognized key accountability areas of IT Technique, Planning and Governance (“Plan”), IT Digital Transformation (“Construct”) and IT Operations and Digital Options (“Run”). Our crew developed and applied widespread know-how platforms and developed the important thing enablers which fashioned the weather of our digital technique round key areas, akin to digital expertise, relationship administration, analysis, studying and instructing and key foundational components of IT akin to collaboration, networking, safety and storage that drove scale, effectivity, and improved service. We centralized IT roles and obligations and ensured that our employees had been outfitted with the talents essential to function underneath this new mannequin. With a powerful basis in place, we had been in a position rapidly pivot to distant instructing and studying when COVID hit, one thing that might have been a problem underneath the previous working mannequin. Most significantly, ITDS shifted away from placing out fires and offering extra seen, value-added providers. The notion of ITDS shifted from behind-the-scenes IT supplier to strategic enterprise associate delivering improved experiences for college students, and employees.

Classes realized

Shifting to this new working mannequin took time and required affected person, considerate change. As I replicate on this five-year journey, just a few classes realized come to thoughts:

  • Enterprise-level know-how is a important basis for significant, sustained digital transformation.
  • Digital transformation is complicated! It takes time and continued funding in individuals, course of and know-how.
  • The connection between IT and enterprise models is important! Alignment and collaboration drive success!
  • Transformation requires the dedication and assist from college management
  • The IT division have to be sturdy from high to backside, and it should perceive the enterprise wants of the college.
  • Communication is important

On the College of Adelaide, we’re nicely on our method with our digital transformation journey. Because of our partnership with Cisco, now we have laid a powerful basis that units the stage for continued innovation to drive scholar success, college and employees engagement and cutting-edge analysis.

Study extra about digital transformation options from Cisco.
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