UCISA Management Conference 2011 – Day 1

A fine day in Edinburgh for the start of UCISA2011. This will be a record of anything that grabs my attention. Hopefully something will…

First speaker, Jeff Haywood, VP, CIO & Librarian, Edinburgh – Making the Case for Investing in IT. ‘e’ in front of everything – depth, breadth, expectations. To make the case, do the elevator pitch – short, punchy, visual – backed up by business case. Hmmm. Yeah, OK, can see that.

Next up: Mike Boxall/PA Consulting – Universities through the looking glass – reinventing the business of HE. Interesting assumption – the excellent traditional University business model ‘has produced all of us’. Has it? Does everyone in the room have a degree? Do you need one to be an IT Director? Might be an interesting discussion to have…

Anyroad, whatever – this model is over, now all about becoming profit centres with social purpose. Customers are driving transformation in universities’ core markets. Need to look at opportunities for growth beyond current horizons – but aren’t we doing that already? If not, soon will be. Universities will be defined by the different markets and customer needs they seek to serve. Good point: no single voice of UK HE; mission groups are probably not coherent/meaningful – probably true, but is this a good or bad thing? This new model/context/environment seems to be being taken as a given without any discussion as to whether it is right, or wrong, or simply (in)different – but what are the alternatives to this alternative?

& then the Networked University – a streamlined customer proposition. My take is service aggregation, not necessarily creation or delivery – ooh, second guessed him there: Universities will ‘link learners to the global ecology of learning resources & services’.

Interesting final challenge/question: ‘How can we grow the e-maturity of our Unversities to match that of our customers?’

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