Digital transformation creates possibilities for a much wider impact on the HEI, its staff, students and the stakeholder community. An important part of making use of digital capacity is to ensure that the vision for digital transformation, set out in the strategy, takes into account the wider environment and the full range of opportunities presented.
As also explored in the first statement, an HEI needs more than just leadership endorsement to exploit its digital capacity fully, it also needs to have digital leadership to provide the roadmap and vision for the future. Digital leadership describes the strategic mindset that leverages the digital capabilities of the HEI, to improve what it does internally, to anticipate future changes and to identify the opportunities for engagement with the external environment.
Recognising the importance of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), an HEI should also examine how its digital capacity can support the SDGs and underlying principles, particularly in relation to inclusivity and sustainability. All aspects of innovation and entrepreneurship should be viewed through this lens, as part of the HEI’s digital culture.
A digital culture must also incorporate active communication. An HEI should take a coordinated approach to its digital communication, encompassing:
- Outreach and engagement, including internal and external stakeholders at local, national and international levels
- Knowledge exchange, networking and collaboration
- Marketing and promotion
- Consultation, for example with local employers
To enact this, institutions should consider how to incentivise and enhance both staff and students’ digital productivity and how to build their capacity to communicate effectively through digital media. There should be institutional guidelines and common practices which promote the use of social media platforms and ensure continued usefulness and relevance of the institution’s digital presence. In order to support digital communication, HEIs should incentivise staff and students to engage in activities through recognition and rewards.
Finally, in recognition of the dynamic digital environment in which we live and work, monitoring and assessment should provide information to understand the continued usefulness and relevance of the HEI’s digital presence for the society and citizens in its regional, national and international outreach.