Universities continue to spend large sums on new technologies leading to huge pressure for investments to pay off. Lorensbergs investigated what factors institutions have learnt are essential to getting it right - we hope you enjoy reading our findings in the new infographic.
We ran a university poll to establish what senior technical, professional and faculty staff ranked as the critical success factors for new system introduction in their universities. The overwhelming ‘winner’ was having a shared vision and strategy for improving the student experience. The relationship between ICT, faculty and other staff also scored highly.
Feedback tells us that without the necessary leadership, relationships and shared vision in place, there is a lack of agreement on the right systems to embrace and adopt throughout the institution. A widely agreed and recognised strategy to deliver an improved student experience must come first. In turn, this agreement helps determine which systems will be of most benefit to students.
Without a common vision, there is less time and resource allocated to selecting and introducing new systems, and other work tends to be prioritised. Our research tells us that leadership needs to come from the CIO as much as from other institution leaders, although this often requires structural change and new ways of working to ensure they are heard. At present less than half of CIOs are at the top table for decision-making and often need to be represented by other more senior colleagues for their views and judgement to be taken into account.
Difficulties with adoption
Even when a system proves fit for purpose, getting it to bed into the institution with wide scale adoption proves tricky and a long term engagement strategy is needed. System integration, strong levels of digital literacy, and both student and staff training are cited as areas needing more attention to improve adoption success rates. Certainly planning beyond the pilot stage of a project prepares for a better outcome.
Where evidence helps
A good relationship between the institution and their technology supplier also plays its role. Good communication here can help provide evidence of success – case studies and reference sites can go a long way to winning buy in and enthusiasm for a new system, thereby supporting its adoption and ultimate success.
There’s a lot to take into account when rolling out new technologies at an institution, but first you need to ensure that the right foundations are in place. Building strong communication channels and relationships is the best place to start.