University of Exeter

Transforming IT delivery as a vital enabler

Industry: Higher education
Region: England
HQ: Exeter
Company size: Exeter IT has 130 staff supporting 4,000 staff and 20,000 students, plus external stakeholders

“Faced with an urgent need to transform the IT department to meet the needs of this ambitious and growing University, Atos were able to use their extensive industry experience to speed up this phase of the transformation. Against challenging timelines the output has very much set us up for the next stage of our journey.”

Alan Hill,
Chief Information and Digital Officer

Accelerating the transformation of the University of Exeter IT.


The University of Exeter makes significant investments in providing digital services to stay competitive and create an immersive learning environment for its students. With technology so essential to delivering the University’s vision, Exeter IT is undertaking widescale transformation. Atos worked intensively with Exeter IT senior management and staff to inform and support this transformation journey, helping to refine the new IT strategy, review the existing IT operating model and organisation against industry best practice, and shape the future of Exeter IT, including the key stages of its Transformation Programme.

The challenge


With significant cost reduction pressures and the need to consolidate, standardise and modernise, Exeter IT had embarked on an ambitious transformation. This involved consolidating seven highly disparate departments into one cohesive, future-proofed IT organisation, with a new standard IT operating model. Atos was commissioned to review the IT strategy, organisation, working practices, skills and demand and to make recommendations for the future operating model and its implementation.

The solution


Leveraging Atos’ own IT Operating Model Framework and benchmarking against industry standards, Atos worked intensively through interviews and collaborative workshops with Exeter IT to:

  • Rapidly review the maturity of the existing operating model including strategy, principles, functions, organisation and people
  • Identify individuals’ day-to-day activities, knowledge, experience and skills
  • Provide recommendations to guide development of the future IT Operating Model
  • Specify the key stages of the IT Transformation Programme.

Business benefit


  • Clear understanding of future key IT capabilities
  • Visibility of demand, priorities and activities to inform new organisational design
  • Understanding of available skills and gaps to be filled
  • Recommendations for the future IT operating model to ensure:
    – Shift from firefighting (operations) to addressing future business (digital) needs
    – Focus on business and supplier engagement
    – Efficient IT service provision
    – Clearer, more consistent view of business requirements and IT strategy
    – Personal staff development paths.

Related resources

Client Story

Accelerating University of Exeter’s Digital Transformation through Strategy & Architecture Services

Atos supported the University’s Digital Transformation Programme with an aim to implement cutting-edge digital products and solutions for their students, teachers, researchers and staff.

Opinion Paper

Delivering student-centric education

Digitally transforming schools and universities Opinion paper.

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