Business models of universities adopting digital solutions

(updated 20.6.2017)

One element of the OOFAT study commissioned by ICDE and being carried out by FiBS Germany (Dominic Orr, Lene Wrobel) and IET from the Open University UK (Martin Weller, Rob Farrow) is looking at the business models being adopted by universities across the world in their implementation of technology-enhanced content development, delivery and learning recognition.

For this element of the study, we have adopted a framework for our survey from Taran, Boer & Lindgren (2015)* which looks at 7 elements of a business model and contrasts for each an approach to extending market position with one developing a new market position. Currently we have data from 37 higher education institutions from across the world (25 countries), which can be used to provide a first insight. Since the categories have been formulated dichotomously, it is interesting to see where more than half of the institutions have set their focus.

The chart above shows that HEIs tell us they are using digital technologies for new communication channels to develop new relationships with their target audiences (learners), whilst using their existing (traditional) institutional structures and networks for provision. They also tell us that they are exploring new approaches to their value chain and looking for new ways to cover their costs or maintain profitability. Around 40% of the HEIs say that they are using new technologies to offer new products or services to new markets.

Although our survey already covers HEIs from across the globe (the results above cover institutions from 23 countries), this is not enough for a fully developed investigation.

We would therefore like to ask you again to consider taking our survey or suggesting survey participation to other HEIs leaders across the world. The survey will close and the end of June 2017. Thank you.

Survey link: here

By the way: the results can be nicely compared to what came out of the McKinsey Global Survey. Asked which digital activities they see as top priority, the largest group of CEOs stated “digital engagement of customers”**. It will be interesting to see whether our results concur at the end of the survey.

*Taran, Y; Boer, H.; Lindgren, P. (2015). A business model innovation typology. In: Decision Sciences, Vol. 46, No. 2, pp. 301-331.

**http://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/digital-mckinsey/our-insights/cracking-the-digital-code

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