Chief Digital Officer
University of Auckland
What does DX mean for you?
At the University of Auckland our students have a wide variety of customer touchpoints, provided by many different departments.? This means that understanding the student journey, or their digital experience, is very important to us.? Student success depends on a wide variety of interactions, and today, analytics provide us with the opportunity to be more proactive.? We also provide services in a wide variety of ways, so integrating those services into a more seamless experience is important. ?These concepts apply to the University’s staff and other customers too, leading us to be more customer driven with end to end provision of services.? This is quite a mind shift for us, from the provision of individual services to consideration of the overall customer experience arising from all of our integrated services.
What is the one piece of advice for a successful transformation?
We have invested strongly in our change management practice, backed up with portfolio and project management.? As an academic organisation, winning the hearts and minds of our staff is important, and so the partnership between these practices and our technology teams to deliver and support change has been a focus for us.? Innovation is important, and so is speed to market.? But overall, I feel that our change management team has been one of our biggest assets in embedding transformation.
Have you come across any roadblocks and how have you overcome them?
Like all Universities, we are hierarchical in many areas, and have a lot of diverse departments, some of which are silos.? This is a challenge in the implementation of Agile practices, particularly in delegating and enabling teams.? We also have an aging workforce, making digital literacy a greater challenge, particularly given the expectations of new students for a more interactive online experience.? So this means our programs around Agile capability and digital literacy are important.
How has Digital Transformation impacted your organisation?
The University of Auckland is in the top 1% of world Universities, and international competition is fierce.? We are less well funded than our competitors, and therefore we have to be more efficient and effective in how we operate.? Key changes revolve around process automation, enhancing our service delivery models, and focussing on the customer experience.? Our researchers have needed to gain new skills in supercomputing and data curation, and our teaching practices are becoming more interactive.? Artificial intelligence and machine learning are emerging forces in the delivery of our services. ?The competitive landscape is changing considerably, particularly due to the mobility of students.