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New Report Offers Long-Term Strategy for Digital Transformation in Higher Ed

By Corey Snow November 20, 2020

Long before the pandemic, universities have sought inspiration, best practices, and practical frameworks to embrace digital transformation. Taking the long view into the “next normal”, digital transformation increasingly becomes the digital imperative.

Long-term institution success within higher education is underpinned by a strong digital technology strategy, and increasingly we see that institutions are seeking guidance in developing tailored strategies to ensure lasting success and sustainability.

With that in mind, partnered with Jisc, Universities U.K., and Emerge Education on Digital at the Core: A 2030 Strategy Framework for University Leaders, a long-term strategy framework designed to empower higher education leaders to develop digital strategies.

Cover of report, Digital at the Core: A 2030 Strategy Framework for University Leaders

A new framework uses perspectives from higher ed leaders on the benefits of a long-term strategic approach to digital transformation.

Download the Report

The framework, which aims to help senior leaders realise the benefits of a long-term strategic approach to digital technology, includes perspectives and thought leadership analysis from Vice-Chancellors and senior executives representing more than 40 U.K. universities.

The collaborative framework is especially timely now, as the COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated that institutions with prior investment in digital technologies are more agile and resilient in the face of business model disruption.

“When the pandemic hit, some universities already had digital embedded throughout and were able to adapt quickly. Others found themselves casting around for ideas, skills, and technologies. What it has shown is that developing a long-term strategy for digital is now more essential than ever, despite the evolving and uncertain circumstances we face.”
– David Maguire, chair of the Learning and Teaching Reimagined advisory board and interim Vice-Chancellor and Principal at the University of Dundee

While a global pandemic cannot be predicted, we can be certain that business model disruption will occur in higher education in the future. Digital transformation is not a journey to a specific destination, but instead to a new state of being where institutions are prepared to adapt to next waves of change.

There is no single path to digital transformation. The strategy, methods, and technology deployed must be tailored to the unique vision and values of each organisation. The long-term strategic framework is broken down into 12 topics across four themes from which higher education leaders may draw inspiration. Some of the compelling questions grounding the framework are:

  • Is there sufficient digital awareness among the executive team for them to make informed decisions in core strategic areas?
  • How can we encourage and embed a culture of experimentation and continuous improvement that lets staff make the most of digital tools in their work?
  • How will our students’ needs and expectations change over the next decade and how can we provide a digital experience that will meet or exceed them?

Graphic depicting the four themes of the framework

“Higher education is at a turning point globally. And there is a tremendous opportunity to reimagine how the sector in the UK should evolve using technology, a pivotal step required to thrive in the next normal. is proud to work alongside industry peers to develop a framework for digital transformation that will inevitably shape and contribute to future learner and institution success.”
-Nathalie Mainland, general manager and senior vice-president, Education Cloud

Since no two institutions are the same, the framework has been designed to flexibly empower each institution to chart a more confident course as higher education navigates an increasingly-digital future. is grateful to partner with higher education leaders across the globe to enable learner and institution success with digital technology into the future!

Learn more about how your institution can adapt and implement a unique digital transformation approach using Digital at the Core: A 2030 Strategy Framework for University Leaders.

About the Author

Corey Snow, Director, Education Industry Solutions at

Corey Snow
Director, Education Industry Solutions at

Corey enables educational institutions to thrive by embracing and leveraging the power of CRM technology and Education Cloud. He previously served as CRM Strategist and Solution Architect at Harvard University, partnering with 40+ teams spanning eight schools to foster cross-campus collaboration and shared success with the Salesforce platform and ecosystem.