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Service Excellence, Digital Transformation and Enterprise Architecture

Our University Secretary has sponsored a major review of the University’s administrative processes, coining the banner “Service Excellence”.  The aim is to look at the services we provide to staff and students with a fresh eye, making them more effective, more efficient, and focussed on the user rather than administrative convenience.

Our CIO is sponsoring a similar programme called “Digital Transformation”. This will replace old paper-based processes, starting with the question of what would processes look like if we designed them afresh for the modern connected world.  The aim is to make processes that are more focussed on the user and hence more effective and efficient.

Both of these ambitious programmes will need an effective enterprise architecture, if they are to succeed.  Digital Transformation is intrinsically about using opportunities provided by new technology to improve services and, as such, it requires effective technology services to make data available when needed, to provide applications 24/7, to give a consistent user experience across different applications.  Service Excellence is not cast in terms of technology and yet the same fundamental challenges apply to a large number of administrative processes in the modern world.

These three strands, arising from different sources, are beginning to come together.  Last week I joined in a presentation to the Service Excellence team.  Our CIO explained the ideas behind Digital Transformation and gave us all a workshop exercise to encourage us to rethink a simple process from scratch.  This was followed by a brief summary of the recent review of our students' online  experience.. I finished the session with a brief overview of enterprise architecture and some of the building blocks that can help to bring these new processes into being.

The session went well, with a very positive atmosphere throughout.  These sort of business-led initiatives are exactly the sort of programmes in which enterprise architecture can achieve significant effect and I have high hopes that they will make the university a friendlier and more satisfying community in which to work and study.

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