Tag Archives: digital transformation

Time for IT at the top table

The exponential rise of technology-driven change means digital strategies are no longer merely support acts to primary university and college strategic plans. Here, UCISA Chair David Telford argues that, with digital transformation key to the future student experience and learning journey, it’s time for CIOs and Vice Chancellors to push digital strategies into pole position in business planning:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s a bold statement. Digital strategy is not just about the numbers or how much it costs to run your IT. Unless and until your university fully gets to grips with technology’s contribution to the student experience and the learner journey, both will be severely impaired.
IT is now fundamental to the student experience and learning. Technology use is about far more than IT-driven processes and an aid to organisational efficiency and effectiveness. It’s integral to the whole student lifecycle.
Today, the knowledge of how best to leverage technologies to enhance teaching and the academic and research agendas is not coming from the academics, it’s coming from the IT department. In integrating our academic agenda at my own institution, we’re spending more and more time in the classroom and supporting students, even early in their studies and as postgrads, in leveraging technology to access information and research materials.
The digital literacy and digital skills gap in universities that’s growing year-on-year is well documented – but this is not knocking the lecturers. Things are moving so quickly that the skills of academics are just not keeping pace. Like many other sectors, we are in transition. Digitisation is growing and technology brings change. It is disruptive to past ways of working. Taking best advantage requires not only skills but a cultural shift to a change-ready and agile mindset.
So what’s the future of your university? How can a digital strategy ensure that value is best provided to students, lecturers and researchers?
There are a few lessons from the wider world. In less than a decade, Netflix has transformed from a DVD sales and rental business, to media streaming and latterly film and television production and online distribution. They have successfully leveraged advances in technology and been shrewd in understanding changing customer expectations and unmet needs.
How does this link to our university communities and their expectations? Well it’s clear that they live in a connected Netflix world. Our smartphone students inhabit multiple online communities and communicate via Snapchat, WhatsApp, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. They collaborate and share instantly and naturally. Established systems like email and intranets are clunky in comparison. Our business systems often lack the immediacy of app-based solutions and the ability to collaborate on joint decision making or visualising the data.
And what about staff? A recent Facebook-sponsored Deloitte survey of business managers showed only 14 per cent of those responding were fully satisfied with their organisation’s ability to connect, communicate and collaborate with 65 per cent citing digital technologies as the way forward. Would the statistics for higher education alone really be that much different? Certainly, both TEF and the NSS highlight the need for IT to be actively involved in the staff and student experience at all levels.
Working in a multi-campus university, one of the issues I’ve faced is that we’ve yet to get our communities fully joined up. We don’t have a fully-fledged research community and we also don’t have a strong sense of community around the subject areas we are known for. Going forward, it is technology that is going to make the difference in these areas. But even in this, we have to collaborate. This is not a nut IT can crack alone.
Trying to predict the future is a fool’s errand – but we can prepare for it and an effective digital strategy that looks beyond the three or five-year horizon of a typical university business strategy is crucial. While it’s important to bring on the skills of individual academics, we also need to promote recognition of the fact that IT is now very much a part of learning delivery systems. Pedagogy is no longer the sole domain of the lecturer.
The future is very much about collaborative delivery alongside other institutional agencies. Depending how you are structured, that can be as much with library colleagues and learning technologists as with academics and students. For all of us, it’s about thinking across multiple disciplines and multiple service boundaries. It’s about getting out of our comfort zones and addressing questions of collaboration and service delivery that engenders skills development and makes a tangible contribution to the digital learner journey.
The role and dimension for IT in student success is huge and this is a theme that I know some fellow UCISA members have already included in TEF submissions using evidence of digital literacy and engagement with IT systems to show how they have contributed to improved learning outcomes. This is digital strategy linked to powerful strategic programmes with real teeth.
My digital strategy for my own university runs to 2025, five years beyond the university’s current strategy, because the question I asked myself was not only how we could support what’s happening now but how can we inform the next planning cycle and be prepared to meet the challenge of change – both in the sector and the marketplace. It’s about raising the flag now and saying IT will have to be a key strategic theme in all future university strategies.
It’s a new role – and one all of us in IT leadership roles should take on with relish. It’s never been more important for universities to support their IT people, recognise their strategic importance and focus on the contribution of IT to the learner journey.
Taking best advantage of disruptive technology is an issue that goes beyond UCISA’s membership and is on the table for many people. But we’re here to play our part. UCISA’s own Strategic Plan provides for much greater engagement with IT staff at all levels in future. Student success is a business we are all in now and whether you work in IT or not, we’re here to signpost you not only to resources and best practice but a network of contacts that have been there, done that.

Key take-outs for CIOs:

• When crafting your institution’s digital strategy, consider the impact of digital in the broadest sense. An effective IT strategy should fully embrace its effective contribution to student success and student outcome.

• Think beyond the current university business plan horizon. What trends and scenarios can new and emerging use of technology capitalise on in support of the student lifecycle.

• Integrate the digital strategy with the institutional strategy – not least in the value added to the student journey and later student entry and contribution to the workplace.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

David Telford
UCISA Executive Chair and Director of Information Services 
Edinburgh Napier University

UCISA welcomes blog contributions from members. If you would like to contribute a new perspective on a current topic of interest, please contact the website team via manjit.ghattaura@it.ox.ac.uk

 

The views expressed on UCISA blogs are the authors’ and do not necessarily reflect those of UCISA.

Universal design for learning

Emma Fletcher
Technology Enhanced Learning Advisor
York St John University

EDUCAUSE 2017

As a UCISA bursary winner for 2017, I got the opportunity to attend the annual EDUCAUSE conference, this year held in Philadelphia, PA.

The first session of Day 1 of the EDUCAUSE conference was from Dr Michio Kaku, a futurist, theoretical physicist and author. He spoke about his predictions for the future, the digitisation of society and commerce, although he admitted it is hard to predict the future. He suggested that the internet will be everywhere in the future, so we will view it in the same way we view electricity now. We will have the internet in contact lenses, meaning getting online will be as easy as blinking. This will mean we have information easily available to us, so in education memorising facts/figures will be less important with more focus on concepts being taught. He also spoke of lecturers roles becoming more of a mentoring one. Whilst it was thought provoking, some of it was rather science fiction.

Further sessions in Day 1 of the conference covered the key areas of universal design for learning (UDL) and learning management systems (LMS). In ‘A look at how an LMS can help you implement your UDL strategies’, Kenneth Chapman (D2L) and Sandra Connelly (Rochester Institute of Technology) covered the Universal Design for Learning (UDL) framework  principles and how the LMS can play a role in supporting some of these  They focussed on the issues around accessibility, levelling the playing field so that everyone has equal access to what is being designed, as well as ensuring that this is designed and added up front.

Resources and downloads from the presentation are now available.

 

Next generation Digital Learning Architecture

 

 

 

 

 

Ed Stout
Support Services Manager
Leeds Beckett University

EUNIS 2017

Dr. Rob Abel, Chief Executive Officer of IMS Global Learning Consortium, came across from the USA to talk us through his thoughts on the future of Digital Learning Architecture in Higher Education at EUNIS 2017. He very quickly put strong emphasis on the importance of a digital transformation strategy within HE institutions and outlined that IT should be an enabler to teaching and learning innovation. Dr. Abel’s presentation had so much content, in truth it was difficult to keep up. He gave us an overview of the tools and technology in place within the HE market for teaching and learning as outlined in the photo below: (apologies for poor image quality)


 

 

 

 

 

 

An outdated architecture for learning had different systems uniquely silo-ed with little to no interoperability:


 

 

 

 

 

 

What if now it was quicker and easier to make systems work in harmony, to benefit the connected learner? Well, Dr. Abel, in collaboration with Malcolm Brown (EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative) and Jack Suess (University of Maryland), had previously written a paper in 2013 analysing “A New Architecture for Learning” which highlights the need for an IT department to be agile, flexible and allow for personalisation when integrating new innovative learning technologies. Seamless interoperability between both current and future developed systems is the key to success; not simply an over-reliance on a current Learning Management System (LMS), but an ecosystem developed beyond it. Dr Abel referenced a very useful paper produced by the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative in 2015 entitled “The Next Generation Digital Learning Environment” which is worth your time to read and is available here

Dr. Abel then took the opportunity to take us on a high-speed tour of the benefits and impact of Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI), which include:

  • Reduced integration time and cost by a factor of 100-1000x
  • Ubiquitous across 70+ learning platforms
  • Hundreds of certified LTI apps of varying types
  • Foundation of interoperable edtech ecosystem.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMS Global have publicly released Caliper, a learning analytics interoperability framework that enables the collection, storage and transportation of data about learning. The Caliper framework removes the limitations of a single LMS system and opens up a broad range of benefits to be realised through the integration and interoperability of multiple systems. It is worth noting that it is being taken seriously by many HE institutions and partners, so is not one to simply toss aside without further investigation.

Seven things you should know about Caliper

This blog post first appeared on http://www.edstout.co.uk/2017/06/25/day-2-reflections/

EUNIS 2017 Day 1 Digital Insights

 

 

Ed Stout
Support Services Manager
Leeds Beckett University

 

So, day 1 of EUNIS 2017 in Münster and I packed a lot into a very busy but great day!!
It started with a brisk walk from my hotel to the University of Münster campus, made all the brisker through a slight error of direction on my part. No problem, I just got to see a little more of this beautiful city than I’d bargained for at that time of the morning. That said, it was worth reminding myself to be mindful not to get run over by the hundreds of cyclists whizzing around in “the wrong direction”

 

 

 

 

Opening addresses

Following an early registration session we were straight into the programme at 9AM with the conference’s opening addresses  from Professor Johannes Wessels, the Rector here at University of Münster, EUNIS President Ilkka Siissalo and Dr. Raimund Vogl, the IT Director and CIO at University of Münster.

Prof. Wessels set the scene nicely for those of us unfamiliar with Münster. The university, he tells us, has 45,000 students and approaching 8,000 staff! That’s a bit bigger than I’m used to at Leeds Beckett (for reference we suggest we have approximately 30,000 students and 3,200 staff). The University of Münster has a not unsubstantial €610M budget, 15 departments and 238 buildings which make the their claim of “The City is our Campus” seem not far off the mark. See the campus map

Ilkka Siissalo is the CIO at Helsinki University as well as current EUNIS President and made reference to the state of a growing EUNIS community. He also identified upcoming EUNIS events including two analytics workshops  in Lisbon this December and a Rectors conference due to take place in Porto next spring.

Dr. Vogl opened his address with a look at the University of Münster’s IT Governance which has been in place in some form since the 1990s. A diagram of this can be found below:

 

 

 

 

 

Key points of the IT Governance structure are that:

  • The IT commission acts as a parliamentary institution (a larger body with members nominated by the senate of the university). It also allows them to obtain wider feedback inclusive of the student point of view.
  • IT steering decisions are formed within the IT Board which previously acted effectively as a commission CIO but;
  • A CIO position was recently created and subsequently filled by Dr. Vogl alongside his position as IT Director.

 

Keynote 1: NMC’s Higher Education Horizon

Eden Dahlstrom – Executive Director at the New Media Consortium 

Eden offered some very interesting insights into the findings within the ‘NMC Horizon Report’ detailing the developments, trends, challenges and anticipated time to adoption of technologies within higher education over the next 5+ years. The report can be found here with additional related resources here.

 

 

 

 

 

I suspect we all recognise that actively making change within organisations can be very difficult. Eden referenced a quote by Dr Peter F. Drucker which seemed only too fitting:

“Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” Get the attitudes and everyday principles right and the intended changes can become easier.

No paper available

Keynote 2: Digital Humanities 

Dr. Torsten Hiltmann – Associate Professor at the Institute for Medieval History, Münster University

I understand that this was a late addition to the EUNIS 17 agenda  but you wouldn’t have recognised it, Dr. Hiltmann certainly proved that he knows his area of specialism well. Now, Digital Humanities  or Digitale Geisteswissenschaften as I believe the locals call it is new to me but I certainly feel like I came away from this Keynote having learnt something.

Digital Humanities is “the use of computer-based tools and methods to answer existing questions to elaborate new questions in the domain of Humanities”. It is believed to have all started as far back as 1949 with data being transferred onto punch cards before making the transition onto magnetic tapes in 1955. Prior to the digitisation of information, projects had to be digitised in order to be able to be processed. Now, however a large portion of material is already accessible in a digitised form and thus making it much easier, quicker and more efficient to use.

Dr. Hiltmann went on to cover the importance of some of the methods in Digital Humanities with reference to mediaeval coats of arms. Understanding that there were over 1 million different coats of arms in the Middle Ages, it’s important to recognise and understand the differences. Dr. Hiltmann very knowledgeably broke down the anatomy of a coat of arms and identified the importance of a standard to describe them.

 

 

 

 

 

No paper available

Parallel Session 1: Leadership & Management – Building a Digital Roadmap for Greater Engagement and Success

Chris Bridge – ITS Director Queensland University of Technology 

This was quite literally a standing room only session…

 

 

 

 

 

Queensland University of Technology (QUT) is another substantial university by students and staff numbers with over 47,000 students and nearly 13,000 staff and in 2013 its IT strategy had expired. Chris informs us that there was an appetite for change, having recognised a shift in the sector and QUT took a new strategic approach to digital leadership.

QUT positions itself at the forefront of technology and innovation and identified that it needed to be agile in order to respond effectively to new challenges. It was therefore decided to build a new Digital Roadmap to ensure its competitiveness in the HE market. Their Digital Roadmap focused on three key areas; Students, learning and teaching; Research and innovation; People, culture and sustainability.

Chris referenced that the successes of the Digital Roadmap have been the improved alignment between IT investments and business strategy, funding now better balanced between innovation, strategy and BAU also common and well understood business language has been adopted across the roadmap in place of technical language ensuring that all parties understand it clearly.

A link to Chris’ “Building a Digital Roadmap for Greater Engagement and Success” paper can be found here. 

Parallel Session 1: Leadership & Management – Digitalization of Higher Education from a Student’s Point of View 

Anne Thoring – Centre for Information Processing, University of Münster

Anne and colleagues at the University of Münster have undertaken qualitative interviews with small groups of students to gather information on service requirements. The 3 categories identified as priorities for students related to IT were: study organisation, online literature and software provision.

Interestingly (although potentially not too surprisingly), findings from the interviews identified that students’ most important requirements from IT solutions are that they offer integration and standardisation with existing university services. Additionally, students identified that IT Services should simply enable them to focus on their studies and ensure that relevant resources are easily accessible. The study also asked students to rate services and systems such as Münster’s e-learning platform, exam administration system and 3rd party provided cloud based services https://www.oclc.org/en/news/releases/2017/201701oberhaching.html on a positive, neutral or negative scale whilst allowing them to pass additional comments.  It became clear that students are keen for IT departments to utilise services such as those available from Microsoft and Google as opposed to bespoke in-house offerings. The overall findings though allowed Anne and colleagues to make an assessment that students are taking a more pragmatic view on digitisation developments than has been suggested by a range of professional parties.

 

 

 

 

 

A link to Anne’s “Digitalization of Higher Education from a Student’s Point of View” paper can be found here.

Parallel Session 1: Leadership & Management – Essential IT capabilities for a Successful Digital Transformation in Higher Education 

Pekka Kahkipuro – Chief Information Officer at Brunel University London

In order to successfully complete a digital transformation in HE, Pekka proposes a 3 layered capability model for structuring the required IT capabilities.

  • Basic capabilities – current best practices in traditional IT form the foundation for digital transformation.
  • Standard capabilities – needed to maintain competition with other HE peers.
  • Advanced capabilities – institutions looking at using digital business as competitive advantage.

Pekka illustrated the typical IT function using Gartner’s “Four Futures of IT Organisations” model as below and recognised that whilst undoubtedly we work within all four quadrants, we commonly focus more regularly within the bottom left “Engine room” as in Figure 2. In here we are too commonly internally focused around operational activities (BAU) and in order to successfully complete a digital transformation it is important to look outside of this quadrant (Figure 3).

 

 

 

 

 

Digital transformation provides different options for different institutions and so, no two implementations will be the same. At the advanced capabilities level however is where the main differentiation will occur. These may be related to elements of the institution and not simply IT but if you get it right here you can maximise the competitive benefit.

A link to Pekka’s award nominated “Essential IT capabilities for a successful digital transformation in Higher Education” paper can be found here

Parallel Session 2: ICT Infrastructure & Security – Achieving a Trust Relationship Model in eduroam – The Case of an RadSec Pilot Implementation in Portuguese Higher Education Institutions 

Pedro Simoes – FCCN, Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT)

Now it would be very fair to say that this was a technical session!! Not one my expertise are specifically aligned with, however I thought it would be useful to learn more. In truth, this may have been a technical step too far for me… read the paper linked below if you don’t believe me, Pedro knows his stuff

 

 

 

 

 

Eduroam  originated as a service in 2002 and spread rapidly across 85 countries allowing students, researchers and educational staff free, secure wireless access at any participating institutions. Pedro and colleagues have been piloting RadSec (Secure RADIUS)  in Eduroam.pt amongst a subset of Portuguese institutions. They have taken a heterogeneous approach across the piloting institutions as a model for best practice for adoption nationally. Alongside this they’ve also been trialling Radiator, FreeRadius  and RadSecProxy  for authentication.

To really get to the depths of the study without the limitations of my understanding I would recommend checking out the paper as below.

A link to Pedro’s “Achieving a trust relationship model in Eduroam – the case of an RadSec pilot implementation in Portuguese Higher Education Institutions” paper can be found here.

Parallel Session 2: ICT Infrastructure & Security – Device Specific Credentials to Protect from Identity Theft in Eduroam 

Bernd Decker – RWTH Aachen University

As I always seem to personally be interested on the scale of an institution, here is RWTH Aachen University by numbers:

  • Approximately 45,000 students
  • Approximately 8,500 international students
  • Approximately 9,000 staff
  • Approximately 540 professors
  • 9 faculties offering 152 courses

This study was initiated due to the threat / possibility of Eduroam credentials being retrieved by a man in the middle attack. Mobile devices were identified as particularly vulnerable due to them persistently trying to find known WLANs and with the ever increasing growth of the Eduroam userbase combined with the fact that account passwords are too commonly used for non-university accounts, it was deemed a valid objective at RWTH Aachen University.

A web app was developed that allowed students and staff to create unique device based credentials. It was highlighted though that the drawbacks of this, whilst more secure, would require a uniquely generated username and password to be applied at the point of connection to the Eduroam service. This method allows devices to be granted/declined access to Eduroam and through a web interface, devices/location/time logs could be accessed for the last 14 days connections where it was possible to revoke access.

 

 

 

 

 

This was certainly a new method of Eduroam connection to me and whilst the security aspect was certainly improved, it left me with concerns (rightly identified by Bernd) that it was not intuitive and that students/staff would find it complicated to configure. It is certainly one for the security vs usability debate and whilst I, as a techie may come down on the secure side of the argument, being pragmatic I suspect it might be a tough sell to students, staff etc.

A link to Bernd’s “Device specific credentials to protect from identity theft in Eduroam” paper can be found here.

Parallel Session 3: Parallel Session 3: Sponsor Track – Panopto: Using Video to Enhance Informal, Formal and Blended learning approaches 

Denis Staskewitsch – Area Sales Manager DACH, Panopto

Adrien Bourg – Account Executive at Panopto 

The focus of this workshop was on the use of video with Panopto when used as a capture tool to enhance the formal, informal and blended learning approaches in HE. The session was low on attendees but this allowed for greater interaction between those of us that were present. At this session, and indeed as it has felt throughout the conference so far, I was one of a few representing institutions from the UK. Scandinavian institutions seem to be here at EUNIS17 in quite some number and this was evidenced by 75% of those at the session representing institutions from Norway and Finland.

Video is becoming a standard which our students are expecting or even demanding. Within the next 3 years, 80% of all internet traffic will be video content online. YouTube as an online social video sharing platform now has more than 1 billion users and over 300 hours of video content being uploaded to it every minute. To scale Panopto, it hosts more than 2 million videos within their cloud offering and actively streams more than 100 years’ worth of video every month. They also serve more than 5 million end-users all around the globe. This is clearly a growing market and not one that we within HE should sidestep.

Panopto have conducted a poll which identified over 90% of its users use the service to enhance their overall student experience. They recognise that it enables them to engage with distance learners (43%) and also see it as a tool to help increase student recruitment and retention (33%). Given how students use the service, it was also recognised by nearly 50% that it helps them improve their grades and can be used to train staff and enhance CPD (24%).

A breakdown of how it is being used in universities offers some interesting insights:

 

 

 

 

When students were surveyed regarding those views on technology to enhance their learning, 89% agreed that technology helps them improve their ability to learn. 75% had used an online platform such as YouTube or Vimeo to learn a new skills. Another interesting finding was that students felt almost in equal measure, that a formal and informal mix of learning approaches was most desirable:

 

 

 

I certainly see the use of video for educational delivery, whether via a lecture capture service alone or complimented by other means, continuing to grow and given some of the findings discussed, HE institutions would be wise to invest and reap the multitude of benefits.

No paper available

Parallel Session 3: Sponsor Track – Inspera: Digital Assessment in Norway – A Case Study from the University of Bergen 

Sofie Emmertsen – Executive Education Consultant, Inspera 

So, as it turned out I didn’t know a hell of a lot about digital assessments, at least not on the scale that seems to be commonplace across Scandinavian HE institutions. Sofie referenced that there are currently very few UK HE institutions that have taken up the digital assessment offerings from Inspera or any of their competitors. That said, I was advised that fellow EUNIS17 speaker Pekka Kahkipuro has encouraged / supported the adoption as CIO at Brunel University in London.

A case study of the University of Oslo in Norway referenced that 6,000 students sat digital assessments in 2014. This figure rose to 45,000 in 2017. It is certainly a fast growing market within the HE sector.

What are the benefits??

  • Markers and moderators have fast and secure access to all submissions
  • Reviewers and externals can be easily included in the assessment process
  • Markers can offer better feedback
  • Students use a media that they are used to during assessment exams
  • Student satisfaction is increased
  • Administrative work hours are reduced
  • Management have better control and insight into the assessment process

The University of Bergen, faculty of Maths and Science have gone from 48% of assessment digitised over 7 disciplines in 2015 to 55% of the assessments digitised over 35 disciplines in 2016. They also have the aim to have 100% of assessments digitised by the end of 2017. Bergen are seeing very swift movement in the Department of Molecular Biology and Biology whilst the Department of Maths are slower to take up the digital assessments. This in part was referenced as being due to the mathematical workings being commonly made by hand on paper and requiring of inclusion within the assessment. So, there are some limitations/challenges (namely those in red below) but please note the faculty strategy to overcome them below:

 

 

 

No paper available

 

 

Keynote 3: Digital Campus Management and Student Information Systems – A Customer’s Perspective 

Dr. Malcolm Woodfield – Global Vice President and Head of the Higher Education and Research Industry at SAP

Björn Kemmoona – Director of Marlin Consulting

Eva Mundanjohl – Head of the Department for Academic and Student Affairs, University of Münster

Unfortunately, I was tied up in conversations with other conference delegates and so did not make it to this session however, a summary of what was covered is outlined here.

Keynote 4: Maximizing Productivity and Learning Time – Fundamentals and Requirements in the Usage of AV Technology 

Frank Boshoven – Sales and Key Account Manager at the Crestron (Germany) & Crestron EMEA Education Program Manager

Now, I had wondered if Frank was coming to sell us a particular brand of kitchen appliance but it turns out he’s a bit of an AV evangelist so I quickly got over that and focussed on his keynote… Sorry, getting the obvious jokes out of the way first.

Frank started out in the AV business back in 1982 as an R/F technician but subsequently moved into sales. Crestron are big players in the AV market and with their headquarters in New Jersey and a range of global offices in over 90 other countries. As a company they were established in 1969, and now employ over 4,000 staff and have had the same management team for 40 years. Frank went on to offer us a journey through Crestron’s innovative company history. Since the first graphical programming language and colour touchscreen control panels were introduced in the early ’90s, through with the integration with PDAs, tablets and computers in the early ’00s and more recently the distribution of scaling of 4K/60 content.

Crestron have taken on the challenge of combining different manufacturers products and platforms into a centralised AV management solution. Crestron Fusion  is intended to maximise productivity and reduce overall costs through remote monitoring and management and control of all classroom AV technology. Live data feeds into Fusion allow relevant parties to identify room occupancy and through appropriate power management seek to offer maximum energy-efficiency / environmental gains.

A typical installation in a lecture theatre was suggested to consist of more than 30 power supplies, a multitude of connections and the requirement for time and effort to be spent programming devices. It was referenced that this places unnecessary expense on the business. Standardisation in hardware and configuration is the way forward to obtain maximum efficiency and usability.

Frank summarised the challenges within a professional AV business as below:

 

 

 

No paper available

 

Civic Reception – Historical Town Hall, Münster

It was a very enjoyable end to a very busy first day at EUNIS17. The event opened with some short speeches and allowed to delegates to mix whilst enjoying a little food and drink. The location could not have been more beautiful in the Historic Town Hall in Münster. This is the location that the “Peace of Westphalia” was signed in 1648 ending the Thirty Years’ War and marking the beginning of a long period of peace in Europe. We were even fortunate to be offered a formal tour of the building to gain some real insights into the history that it held.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This blog post first appeared on http://www.edstout.co.uk/blog/

Information management – AIIM’s state of the industry report

Sara Somerville

 

 

Sara Somerville
Information Solutions Manager
University of Glasgow

 

A Look Behind the Curtain: The State of the Industry – Bob Larrivee, AIIM’s Vice President, takes a look at the AIIM State of the Industry Report (in the U.S):

  • The main drivers to ECM are risk and compliance and costs and productivity
  • Dependencies – 47% of respondents said if they had an outage of their system for more than two hours it would cause severe disruption
  • Governance – 18% align IM/ECM system strategies with agreed Information Governance (IG) policies, 29% have no IG policies. Without governance you are just creating a digital dumpster!
  • Content creation mechanisms – 49% use a shared copy review but only 10% of organisations use concurrent editing; 78% are still circulating documents by email for review and approval
  • Email – 39% describe their email as chaotic; 16% keep everything; 17% have a dedicated archive with a defined retention and hold policy
  • Content deletion – 47% have an Information Governance policy, but 51% rely on manual deletion
  • Defensible content deletion – Half would struggle with cloud, social and file shares; 20% are following policy but are not auditing it
  • Business Processes – 46% have some paper-free processes (so 54% don’t); 30% are capturing content closer to the customer
  • Multi-channel inbound – 23% have elements of multi-channel integration, but only 5% with automated routing to multiple processes
  • Enterprise integration – 31% are integrated with content creation systems, but only 18% with multi-repository search
  • Content analytics – 15% using auto or assisted classification at creation/declaration
  • Cloud – 20% are live with cloud for all or some of their core content; 7% with selected users or content, or for collaboration and file-sharing.

Compliance in multiple repositories

Sara Somerville

 

Sara Somerville
Information Solutions Manager
University of Glasgow

 

Feedback on a content management session at the AIIM conference

Content Whack-a-Mole: Keeping Up Compliance across Multiple Repositoriespresentation by Michyle LaPedis and Jordan Jones from Cisco Systems

There are multiple tools popping up that enable users to create, share and manage documents, and these were challenging the traditional repository set-up such that users didn’t know what tools to use when. The team realised they needed an overarching strategy to address this issue.

One of the other problems Cisco had was around the search tools which were returning a lot of ROT (Redundant, Obsolete and Trivial data), and if the users couldn’t find what they needed then they tended to create the document again.

Content Management IT at Cisco focuses on an open architecture with open source and open standards. They have three major on premise systems and are currently implementing a project to migrate documents in to one system/repository as a focus for records management, and to enable the application of lifecycle management to that content. (Cisco also use box as their organisational cloud based document management and collaboration tool.)

Some of the steps the team took to improve the situation included:

  • Rationalising their on and off premise services and adding a compliance layer
  • Creating a content management program management office to ensure that proposals for any new IT tools came through this office for approval
  • They defined an ILM (Information Lifecycle Management) strategy for their documents and identified their repositories
  • Cloud offerings often mean less control and make it harder to manage and delete content, but the team created a dashboard for users to move documents from the cloud (or any other location) in to the repository they had created
  • They sent out monthly emails with information about what records need to be deleted and then reminder emails were sent every month after that to remind users to take action (if the users don’t take action after six months then the data is deleted).

Some of the issues they have encountered:

  • New platforms do mean new issues
  • Changing personnel means sometimes starting over – but hopefully there is some hand-over
  • There is a code of conduct which states that it is an employee’s responsibility to manage their information responsibly
  • They have started to phase out the network file shares by making them read-only and then they will start to move the documents over to the other approved repositories.

Key takeaways:

How do you win the game (Whack-a-Mole)?

  • Remember the game will never end
  • It’s important to have a strategy and for records and information professionals to work with IT to implement it
  • There is always going to be a new technology, so it’s important to get the process and the people part working together.

 

 

Document viewers

Sara Somerville

 

Sara Somerville
Information Solutions Manager
University of Glasgow

 

Discussions at the AIIM conference

Goodbye Applets, Hello HTML5 Document Viewing – roundtable with Jean Baptiste Ronfard from Snowbound Software

With Oracle announcing its plans to discontinue its Java browser plugin, the era of applets is coming to an end. Emerging in its place is a wave of web-based applications that offer improved security and reduced client support, including a solution that is a pure HTML5 document viewer. Most of the big vendors in this space are now promoting HTML5 viewers as a way to view documents over the web.

Reasons why the Java plugins are being phased out:

  • Security – not many people are using them so the bugs aren’t being identified as quickly and therefore plugins have been the main focus of attacks
  • Stability – they often crash
  • Flash – this has also been phased out
  • Browser plugins – in general these are seeing an end to their useful lives.

However there isn’t as much functionality available from an HTML5 viewer when editing documents using a browser, and they don’t work that well with PDFs – particularly when adding annotations. The group believed that you can’t take HTML5 viewing seriously until some of these issues with PDFs are resolved.

Key takeaway: Not all HTML5 viewers are created equal! There are some viewers that have a huge amount of features and manage a large range of file types; it all comes down to your requirements.

Ideas for innovation

Sara Somerville

 

Sara Somerville
Information Solutions Manager
University of Glasgow

Insights from the AIIM conference

No Worker Left Behind: The Secret to Successful Ground-up Digital Transformation roundtable chaired by Max Cantor from Nitro using the Catchbox to get the conversation going

CatchBox_Blog_5_Image_1

  • Transformation and innovation doesn’t have to be self-driving cars, it can be streamlining and automating processes, and eliminating paper from a process.
  • It is important to understand what the users on the ground are actually doing.
  • Start small. You don’t have to digitise the whole process, think of delivering the quick wins.
  • Think of the end objective and what you want to achieve, rather than digitising the whole process.
  • The University of Texas has a programme to identify what data is where, and once it is identified, to work out when you can delete it.
  • Tombstone awards – awarding this once you have abolished a redundant work flow!
  • Lean book – ‘Lean Essentials for School Leaders’ is good for running through the basics of applying lean methodologies.
  • Applying Lean principles – using the Five Whys to drill down into why certain steps in the process are happening.

Key takeaways:

  • Look for early wins
  • Find collaborators in the business
  • Stay Agile and Lean.

 

Solving for Innovationpresentation by Chris Walker

What are the organisational attributes and attitudes that are necessary for innovation to thrive?

  • A change can just be something small.
  • Enabling time and space.
  • Putting aside some time to create new things – ‘scratching an un-scratched itch’ – but it can’t be a one time thing.
  • Capturing ideas through a board and suggestion boxes, and it’s important to implement some of these things and let people know when you don’t do something.
  • Have an innovation day out in the business; ask “What would you suggest IT do instead that might stop the use of ‘shadow IT’ eg. Google/Dropbox?”
  • Have Google apps for education because they’re quicker.
  • IT has to become more of a service. IT has to provide the bowling lane rails so that the business can play within that space, but have some guidelines (perhaps around the tools). The role of IT should be more of a facilitator.
  • IT should be viewed as trusted advisor that you could go to, to ask questions of.
  • In one organisation, if research and development get stumped, they publish a ‘problem of the month’ that people in the business can reply to.

Key takeaways:

  • Innovation will not happen if you don’t have the right organisational culture
  • Look at things from an opportunistic point of view.

 

Information management

Sara Somerville

 

 

Sara Somerville
Information Solutions Manager
University of Glasgow

Notes from the AIIM conference

Information Management…The Technology Doesn’t Matter presentation by Russ Stalters

  • Limit your choices for document types and categories.
  • Policies (and best practices) should reinforce the information management practices and keep them short – one or two pages – and train people on the policy with annual refreshers.
  • Make sure each department helps to define their information management procedures; this helps with a sense of ownership.
  • Create an information governance council with members from senior management.
  • Business leaders need to own these decisions – have contacts in each business area who knows the data.
  • Establish quarterly business stakeholder briefings.
  • Use a consistent model for implementation in each area. Think about your lessons learned and refine as you go.
  • Highly recommend an information management operations team – create a team to manage the implementation – this could be a champions network who have been trained, and make sure they are recognised by their peers.
  • Make sure the data owners are assigned from the business.
  • Pay attention to the people side of change – use an established methodology e.g. ADKAR:

Awareness of the need for change

Desire to support the change

Knowledge of how to change

Ability to demonstrate new skills and behaviours

Re-enforcement to make the change stick

  • Try to make it fun and introduce games.
  • Use innovative communication tools e.g. information management coaster (they used a company called xplane – http://www.xplane.com/).

Key takeaway: It doesn’t matter which technology you pick – focus on the other elements that can guarantee your success.

 

Information Management is Hard – Guess What? Your Customers Don’t Care presentation by Ed McQuiston of OnBase (Hyland)

The consumerisation of IT, the Nexus of Forces, the SMAC stack (Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud Services) – whatever you call it, the industry of information management is at a crossroads.

What are your expectations from your healthcare provider? Do you expect to fill in multiple paper forms asking for the same information? What is your expectation of the service you would get from your insurance company?

The information you need to do the job is the same as it was ten years ago, but the information needs to be digital and it needs to be accessible and useable. However, there has been an information explosion (we are trying to manage these volumes of data in real time) and the users have different expectations around how they can work with that information.

In 2007 when the iPhone was introduced it completely shifted our expectations around how and where we want to consume content. The expectation of the millennials is to be able to access both structured and unstructured data instantly.

What does this mean?

  • You need to be Agile to get your products to the market place quickly.
  • The problem is that you have a vast amount of silos and a mixture of custom code and third party apps.
  • You need to think about capturing all the different types of content in one repository and make that content available on-line, off-line and mobile, with external partners if required – the consumer of the information isn’t just internal any more. However, your users don’t want to have to log in to a different system every time, they want to live in their line of business system.
  • You need to be able to have real time data exchange across systems – if someone has put the data into a repository it needs to be immediately available in other systems.
  • You need to start thinking about your repository as the middleware – an integration hub or information management platform – a platform is more than a brand (should be designed in a very different way from a data warehouse).

 

 

 

 

Putting a STAMP on your digital shadow

Sara Somerville

 

 

Sara Somerville
Information Solutions Manager
University of Glasgow

Day three of the AIIM conference

Erik Qualman delivered the keynote, Modern Leadership: The Five Habits to Success and Happiness, setting the scene by highlighting some new online services, and getting us thinking about what could be around the corner. He said we should accept that privacy is dead. You might think, “I’ll get off the grid,” but that’s the worst thing you can do – take control of your online presence instead. Your digital shadow is important, as that’s what people say about you. (A digital shadow is your digital footprint, or what you leave behind when you have interacted with the internet. This can be passively, where data is collected about you; or actively, where you share information about yourself by means of websites or social media.)

Digital_Shadows_Blog_4_Image_1

Some interesting facts and trends relevant to online data collection include:

  • The startling statistic, provided by Erik, that 25% of children in the US who haven’t been born yet already have a digital stamp/footprint
  • Mobile voting – it’s coming
  • edX, founded by Harvard University and MIT in 2012, is a MOOC provider that publishes teaching materials and high-quality courses online for free
  • Spritz is a tool that varies the speed of text so you can teach yourself to speed read; you can incorporate it in to your e-reader
  • Oculus opens up possible uses for virtual reality – you can already get a $20 version from Google
  • Clicks to Bricks This term refers to a company’s integration of both online (clicks) and offline (bricks) presence and understanding the connections between its online presence and its face-to-face relationship with its customers
  • Wearable technology e.g. Fitbit .

STAMP – Five key elements

STAMP_Blog_4_Image_3Digital leaders are made, not born. Erik encouraged us to incorporate or take away one thing from the following that we thought we could use in our day-to-day. Think about these five elements, or STAMP:

Simple – Simplification? It’s hard to do in the digital age. We try to multi-task but this makes us less efficient – when we do that our IQ drops by 15 points, or the equivalent of not sleeping for 36 hours! An amusing example of simplification is a viral video from the Dollar Shave Club. They have a simple idea that is very well executed.

True – It’s important to have a ‘not for now’ list; leaders know where they want to go. What do you want your digital stamp to look like – for yourself, and for your company?

Act – Action and attitude trump everything.

  • We get into throughput traps – have we actually produced anything? Focus on the output.
  • Type into your phone the two things you want to achieve during the day, and try to achieve them (often you don’t get them done as you start fire-fighting and focusing on the immediate).
  • Silicon Valley has worked out that it’s ok to fail, but fail fast, fail forward, fail better (this is a key element of the Agile methodology).
  • Coolest cooler, the second most successful Kickstarter project ever, failed the first time to raise enough money. However, the second time around, they launched in the summer instead of the winter, and raised enough to fund their project.
  • It’s about being flawsome! When you make a mistake, how are you going to be flawsome? How are you going to deal with it? That is what sets you apart.

Map – You don’t use an old map to get to new destinations – pioneers will get pushback.

People – We thrive on people. Social media isn’t about technology, it’s about relationships and people. Pushback_Blog_4_Image_5

  • Try to spend five minutes getting interested in someone on social media, rather than trying to get them interested in you.
  • Post it forward e.g. list three people whom you admire and mention it; endorse people for skills on LinkedIn.
  • Network before you need your network e.g. don’t connect with someone on LinkedIn and then send them a message the next day asking them about a job opportunity.
  • Make sure you work on-line and off-line. Modern leaders do this – mix your virtual with your face-to-face – the tools should work for you, not the other way around.
  • Two things drive a great organisation – great people on the team and word of mouth.

Key takeaways:

  • The tools should work for you, not the other way around.
  • Produce a great digital STAMP – what will your grandchildren see? Will they see that you pursued your dream, or settled for something in between?