Blog entries

Digitisation initiative rolled out in the administration

In the administration, we’ve launched a couple of exciting projects as part of the implementation of the AU digitisation initiative. In this month’s blog post, I’d like to tell you about these two projects and remind you of some of my key messages in relation to the digitisation initiative and how this will affect you as employees.

One of the projects is the roll-out of Office 365 at Aarhus University. Essentially, this is a cloud solution that will replace our current Office package and add a valuable file-sharing module, among other features. I’ve often heard researchers and technical/administrative staff voice their need for a file-sharing option, and I’m pleased that we’ll soon be able to provide one.

The other project is the launch of the process to replace the PhD Planner system. For many years, the current system has been a great help in solving many of the administrative tasks in the PhD area, but as the supplier no longer wants to continue developing the system, we need to find another solution. 

I look forward to getting started on finding a new and better solution. This project forms part of a larger initiative to renew the IT systems used in studies administration – a large project that goes beyond AU and also involves the other universities in Denmark.

When rolling out projects of this scale, it’s important, first of all, that we invest the necessary time. By this I mean that departments – including our IT support centres – tasked with particularly large workloads should have additional resources allocated to them so that some of their employees can work full time on development and be released from their daily work activities. We will set aside extra funds for this.

Another important aspect in relation to digitisation is the uncertainty it may cause for you as employees. When we talk about digitisation projects at management level, the immediate response from many employees is that this will involve organisational restructuring and that work assignments will disappear.

This is not how I understand digitisation. In my view, digitisation is about our organisation adapting to new ways of working and taking on new and different tasks. Therefore, we need to allocate resources that will allow you, as employees, to develop your competences - and, not least, to acquire new competences that match the new reality ushered in by digitalisation.

In the management, we want to be transparent about the changes caused by digitisation. Therefore, I’d like to encourage you to ask if you are uncertain about something. And, as always, I’d also like to encourage you to engage in dialogue about how you can develop your competences as employees.

Last but not least, I’d like, as I’ve done before, to point out that digitisation is not only about implementing new systems. On the contrary. Digitisation is much more about changing our work processes and our mindsets; it’s about thinking digitisation into our existing work assignments and considering how to create most value for our students and researchers. If we fail to do so, we’ll miss out on far too many of the advantages of digitisation.

If you have any comments or questions regarding the above, as always, I’d be happy to hear from you. Please write your comments to this email