Terry Trundley, Edinburgh College Head of IT

Written by Alan Robertson on 29 September 2015 in Feature

For the next 100 days, Connect will be running through our Tech 100 for 2015, profiling the key figures driving the digital agenda in Scotland. Terry Trundley of Edinburgh College offers his insight today

Terry Trundley (@edinburghcoll)

Job Title/Organisation: Head of IT and MIS, Edinburgh College

What does your role involve? 

As part of the senior management team for one of Scotland’s new and largest colleges, I provide leadership and guidance to drive the strategic direction. My role spans IT, MIS, student records and timetabling. All these areas require innovation and transformation. Underpinning by a robust digital platform is essential.

However, for me, my main goal is to help the college focus on other business models and build an architecture for a customer-centric commercial organisation.

What do you consider to be the most imminent challenge in your line of work?

Colleges are facing enormous pressure from reduced funding and increased completion for students. The result of constrained funding and a complex legacy from our merger means the systems architecture has not consolidated or been implemented as fast as I would have hoped.

We are therefore still dealing with major system failures on a regular basis and not able to provide our customers with a stable service. This, in turn, frustrates the students and the staff who just want things to work. The funding position also is exacerbating my ability to attract skilled staff which in turn slows progress.

What has been the most rewarding piece of work you've undertaken?

At the college I and my Development and Innovation Manager, Gavin Hughes, both have experience working for airlines. When developing the college website we introduced the airline business model and at every turn we focussed the team - comprising marketing and IT - on this model and away from a traditional college approach..

This was a groundbreaking project for the college, also introducing Agile development. We were able to show the improvements using business intelligence from Google Analytics and Fusion, and thus respond real time to the immediate changes in courses and marketing material.

How can Scotland bridge the digital skills gap?

Many students leave university with a computer degree but it is quite often not practical. Modern apprenticeships where coding and development are learnt in a production environment is a credible pathway to creating the new model digital army.

Recruit from schools into apprenticeships. Train and develop more teachers. Give opportunities for adult development as many of the best developers I have worked with have been university dropouts. Three of my excellent team of five developers did not waltz into us out of uni.

Which new technology excites you the most?

Business intelligence produced by many technologies, aka big data. We have a concept called the Students Digital Ecosystem. Here we are capturing data from the student from the moment they contact us, via the website. We have data points e.g. VLE, Wifi right along their journey through the college to eventual alumni status. This will help with student support, managing retention, classroom allocation, demand and supply of courses and a host of other benefits for the students.

What's your favourite app and why?

Fitbit as I can’t believe how much movement you have to do to burn off a doughnut.

What, for you, will 2016 be the year of from a technology/digital standpoint?

Analytics. If - as I hope - we are to continue to use commercial business models to develop the college then we need to harvest as much useful data from as many sources to provide meaningful business intelligence. We need to be able to respond to supply and demand so we need to know very swiftly what those criteria look like.

Tags

Related Articles

Jamie Coleman, CodeBase Managing Director
8 February 2016

Connect is running through our Tech 100, profiling the key figures driving the digital agenda in Scotland

Colin Birchenall, Glasgow City Council Digital Transformation Manager
5 February 2016

Connect is running through our Tech 100, profiling the key figures driving the digital agenda in Scotland

Sally Dyson, SCVO Head of Digital Participation
4 February 2016

Connect is running through our Tech 100, profiling the key figures driving the digital agenda in Scotland

Sara Budge, Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband Programme Director
3 February 2016

Connect is running through our Tech 100, profiling the key figures driving the digital agenda in Scotland

Share this page