Flexibility, Agility, and the Three Dx Shifts: Culture, Workforce, and Technology

Flexibility, Agility, and the Three Dx Shifts: Culture, Workforce, and Technology | A study by EDUCAUSE and Spectrum Enterprise

Institutional nimbleness and adaptivity are crucial for success in today’s higher education landscape, especially as institutions make the many cultural, workforce, and technology shifts needed to digitally transform their institutional operations, value propositions, and strategic directions. In the past two years, digital transformation has accelerated in higher education as institutions have had to manage the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

EDUCAUSE and Spectrum Enterprise partnered to highlight institutions that have been engaging in digital transformation, specifically institutions adept at change management that have built flexibility and agility into their IT processes. This summary report and the individual case studies highlight the ways that three institutions—Arizona State University, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (Spain), and Southern Methodist University—have built versatility into their IT systems and the ways that can contribute—and has contributed—to Dx shifts in culture, workforce, and technology.

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Key Findings

Digital transformation involves coordinated shifts across all three components of culture, workforce, and technology at the institution. The case studies in this report highlight ways in which institutions might excel at each of these three Dx shifts.

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Key Findings


Culture

A Dx-ready culture is a focused one. It is zeroed in on the institution’s goals, adept at change management, and able to rapidly adapt to changing needs.

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Culture


Workforce

Institutional versatility comes partly from a restructuring of the workforce to adapt to the rapid, ongoing challenges that IT units face today. Leaders must continue to prepare for changes to existing jobs and the emergence of new roles and necessary skill sets across the entire higher education workforce.

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Workforce


Technology

A technology environment that enables Dx is characterized by enterprise architecture that is adaptable and aligned with institutional strategy. IT leaders must adopt innovative practices and create digital environments that are responsive enough to address the rapidly changing needs of staff and students.

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Technology