Digital Transformation

29 Mar 2019   |   Jonny Wathen, Chief Information Officer

When was the last time you watched a movie? Recently, our family decided to watch a film at home. Outside, the weather was blowing a gale and it was raining heavily. It brought back memories from yesteryear of family expeditions to the local Blockbuster store to hire the latest chart-topping video.

After donning the outdoor gear and driving around to locate the nearest car parking space (to avoid getting wet), we would methodically scan the shelves to identify ‘the one’ only too often to be informed by the store clerk that the last copy had just been issued! Overcoming that disappointment and accepting ‘second best’ (not to mention paying an extortionate amount for treats such as popcorn), we would head home before undertaking the same ordeal the following day – to avoid the dreaded late fees!

Fast forward to the present, the user experience has been revolutionised. An unprecedented number of on demand streaming services provide content any time, anywhere with an internet connection, removing the issue of finite copies of VHS tapes (and the need to get wet). To top it all off, you can order pretty much anything (including popcorn) via the Amazon Prime Now mobile app, resulting in a courier delivery typically within 20 minutes to your front door.

Consumerisation of the video rental market has revolutionised this industry with reports suggesting that Netflix now has a membership base of around 150million subscribers worldwide, whilst Amazon Prime have over 100million paying members. Blockbuster has retraunched from over 9000 stores to just one remaining store in Oregon.

So what does this mean for Wellspring and the education sector?

The Wellspring Way

Over the past fifteen months colleagues across our organisation have worked collegiately to better understand our ‘digital self’ within a period of transformation and rapid growth. This learning together approach has highlighted some of the challenges we and others across the sector currently face.

Workforce development and productivity tools to support and enable our people through professional development programmes and networking opportunities that support digital transformation. GSuite for Education is now available across the Trust and is enabling classroom practitioners and support centre staff to work collaboratively.

Information governance and network security improvements have been made to ensure data is safeguarded and ensuring regulatory compliance. The education sector holds vast amounts of unstructured data which remains unmanaged. The risks from evolving Cyber threats increases daily, placing greater emphasis on network security to protect our operations. Collectively we must continue to ask the question – do we really need to collect that piece of data?

Digital infrastructure and connectivity including sufficiency of broadband capacity and communication channels.

We launched our digital transformation initiative in January 2019 coined Wellspring Digital. The initiative is much more than an intranet portal or simple IT hardware and software considerations. It is a culture entitlement for all, that will underpin the development of our future strategies, policies and practices; enabling people and supporting continuous improvement of our services to young people.

I would like to sincerely thank all colleagues who have been involved in this transformational journey thus far for their creative contributions and industrious efforts. I call on others to play their part in shaping our future and I look forward to reflecting on our progress this time next year. Together we can make a difference.

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