Higher-ed leaders offer a look at how their institutions are managing their digital transformation and moving into the future

How to demystify digital transformation


Higher-ed leaders offer a look at how their institutions are managing their digital transformation and moving into the future

The term “digital transformation” itself may be debated among higher-ed leaders, but there’s no refusing that changes in culture, workforce, and technology are critical in ushering forth new teaching, learning, and operational models at institutions across the globe–no matter what the concept is called.

During an EDUCAUSE 2022 session, higher-ed leaders sought to pull back the curtain on some of the more abstract aspects of digital transformation and illuminate how their own institutions are evolving.

EDUCAUSE has long been behind efforts to help institutions determine if they are ready for digital transformation. The organization defines digital transformation in the following manner: “In the context of sweeping social, economic, technological, and demographic changes, digital transformation (Dx) is a series of deep and coordinated culture, workforce, and technology shifts that enable new educational and operating models and transform an institution’s operations, strategic directions, and value proposition.”

“In 2017, EDUCAUSE convened an expert panel on next-generation digital environments,” said Dave Weil, CIO, Ithaca College. “We knew there was something happening in higher education, but we didn’t know exactly what it was. We thought it would be something we could touch.”

Through various conversations, the concept of digital transformation emerged.

“The name is secondary to what’s at the core of the EDUCAUSE model of digital transformation, which is that we have these things out there that are changing in our world and those are feeding into a process,” Weil said. “They create opportunities for change. What I feel is probably the most important aspect of this is that in order to have a transformative effect you need shifts in culture, workforce, technology.”

Laura Ascione

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