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.
In order to help its client, Coeus first worked toward ensuring that the IT strategy was aligned to the wider journey towards becoming a truly digitally led university. After a digital strategy review highlighted key areas of focus spanning both strategy and operating model, Coeus worked to position the digital agenda front and centre of the wider strategy around future-proofing value delivery mechanisms across all parts of the university.
This included performing a strategic gap-analysis, reviewing the strategies of 34 other universities to instigate the case for change by showing the client’s relative positioning within its peer group.
Coeus’ recommendations received unequivocal support by the senior leadership team with key decisions around operating model and positioning already taken as laid out in the roadmap for change. As a result, within six weeks, two key benefits were delivered by Coeus’ work. The university received an objective list of improvement recommendations to uplift their digital strategy; and more importantly, the client received a wider case for change along the strategy, execution and optimisation dimensions.
Despite this improvement, Coeus is set to continue engaging with the university to help shape and support its digital agenda even further. This will help the university continue to benefit from a clear view of relevant trends within higher-education, and the capabilities needed to respond to emerging stakeholder interests within the sector.
In recent years, Coeus Consulting has won plaudits for its work in digital transformation, both in the public and private sectors. For example, in late 2019, the firm helped Electricity North West reshape its IT sourcing model, enabling the utilities company to deliver next-generation services, and was handed the Best Practice In Strategic Sourcing Award by the Global Sourcing Association as a result.
Through 2020 Coeus Consulting has taken on a raft of further transformation projects, including helping Southend-on-Sea Borough Council address various digital challenges relating to the Covid-19 lockdown.