Throughout our consultations with the campus community, we’ve had a lot of great discussions about what a digital strategy is and what it is not! This underlines why we are seeking input from as many community members as possible – to determine what we are trying to create and how it will serve the university in its teaching, learning, research, and organizational endeavors.

In order to better understand what a digital strategy is, we’d like to share a few ideas around what a digital strategy is not. 

A digital strategy is not…

An IT Strategy

A digital strategy is related to but is not the same thing as an IT strategy. Whereas an IT strategy focuses on technology, a digital strategy looks at people and processes first. It offers a broader perspective on how to use digital technologies to further the goals of the university. It is focused on activities and processes that need to change (or be created) and the role of digital tech in supporting the teaching and learning goals of the university (in our case the goals outlined in the SIP). How can digital tech support these larger university-wide strategic goals? It is driven by the needs of the University and as such, it is important to take a broad, consultative process with the community.

An exercise in centralizing IT

The digital strategy is not about changing our work conditions, nor centralizing responsibility for technology at Carleton. Rather the aim is to look at how to best use digital technologies in order to realize organizational goals and to engage with the community in how to make this happen. We don’t have the answers – the consultation process is about talking to the community in order to find and map the possibilities.

About robots serving meals and drones flying around campus

Digital is not the goal; it is the tool. As such, a digital strategy is not about blindly embracing the latest and greatest technology. It really is meant to look at the goals as outlined in the university strategy (SIP) and how digital technologies can support and further these endeavors. How can digital tech support us and propel us forward? What tech can we leverage in aid of realizing our teaching, learning, and research goals? How can we further engage faculty, staff, and students with the help of digital tools? (But really, how fun would robots on campus be….?!)

If you would like to share your thoughts and perspectives on creating a digital strategy, please fill out this online form!