My view is that the ‘Type 42’ manager was relevant then and and is still relevant now, but the type of need has changed. Technology has a significant role to play in addressing institutional issues whether it be cost reduction level, improving the student experience or through research and innovation. However, this cannot be achieved unless we look to raise the digital literacy of all staff in Univerity’s to contribute to, and help address the institutional issues.
Technology in itself is not a panacea and it is not the sole responsibility of the ICT departments to implement solutions to the challenges that all institutions will/are facing. This is a two-way street and all Universities have a key role to play, whether it be through their CSR agenda or not, in helping to improve the digital literacy of the country. There are more students entering HE than ever before with sophisocated resources and equipment, and I believe we are missing a trick if staff are not engaging with students through these resources to help improve the overall student experience.
ICT departments have an important role in articulating the benefits of technology at a senior level to improve levels of service, but equally senior managers have to be receptive to the opportunities that exist through ICT. I believe there are still too many managers who still believe that technology is the sole domain of the ICT department, and I’m no longer convinced that this mindset is helpful or relevant in the changing environment, to provide institutions with a competitive advantage in the future.