The coronavirus lockdown placed the digital capacity of organisations of all shapes and sizes under a sudden stress test, particularly in sectors such as higher education, where face-to-face contact has always been a prized asset. Coeus Consulting has helped a prestigious London university to up its digital game, in response to the challenges it was presented by social distancing measures in Britain.

Amid the unfolding crisis, Coeus Consulting took up work to help the higher education sector address the massive pressure it came under to accelerate its digital transformation journey. In the otherwise traditional sector, where value has often been placed on face-to-face tuition, social distancing means that higher education has undergone a crash-course in adapting to new methods of value delivery, maintaining its primary clientele while serving its wider role in society.

Coeus Consulting’s work in the sector saw one client ask for help embracing fundamental digital changes, in order to help maintain its leadership position among the world’s elite universities, despite the disruption of the coronavirus.

The London based university’s digital strategy was a document that was created within the central IT function, and had little to no impact on how the various directorates envisioned their digital future and almost no traceability to the wider university strategy. As a result, while siloed initiatives were flourishing, staff, student and researcher survey results were worsening year-on-year regarding digital services.

A group of 12 leading investment consultancies in the UK have banded together to help bolder sustainability practices across the industry. Aon, Barnett Waddingham, Cambridge Associates, Cardano, Hymans Robertson, ISIO, LCP, Mercer, MJ Hudson Allenbridge, Redington, SEI and Willis Towers Watson will collaborate as ESG goals in investment shoot up the agenda of investment professionals.

Over the last decade, environmental, social and governance (ESG) risks have swiftly risen to the top of the investment community’s agenda. One survey from EY previously found that 92% of investors agree that over the long-term, ESG issues such as climate change and executive diversity have quantifiable impacts on businesses. Factoring this into a business plan is proving easier said than done, however, with one example of this being that fewer than one-in-10 pension funds having developed a dedicated resource focused on responsible investment.

The UK Government has once again come under fire for its spending on private consulting contractors, after it emerged the industry had received contracts worth £56 million to help with the national response to the coronavirus. Deloitte, Cambridge Consultants and PwC took the three largest fees, pocketing some £23 million between them.

Despite a recent edition of the respected Global Health Security Index predicting at the turn of the year that the UK was one of the best-positioned nations in the world to handle a pandemic, Government mismanagement of the situation quickly saw Britain spiral into crisis, amid the 2020 Covid-19 outbreak. After a decade of austerity, the National Health Service had been left under-resourced and under-staffed, and hospitals quickly reached bursting point.