The JISC Observatory is a JISC-funded initiative to systematise the way in which the JISC anticipates and responds to projected future trends and scenarios in the context of the use of technology in Higher & Further Education in the UK. The development and management of the JISC Observatory represents the first major collaboration between Cetis and UKOLN in their role as JISC Innovation Support Centres. This project is being jointly directed by Adam Cooper (Cetis) and Paul Walk (UKOLN) working closely with the JISC Executive (notably Rachel Bruce and Tish Roberts).
While the Observatory does involve aspects of ‘horizon scanning’, significant effort is being applied to examining what is already occurring in the sector, seeking out significant patterns and trends. We use the term “radar” to refer to our (ISCs) process for flagging up observations on trends in technology and its application to ourselves, i.e. to collect individual observations. We intend that the Observatory be be rooted in the identification of trends (technology, standards & practice), extrapolated from existing knowledge and experience within the JISC ISCs and from the communities they serve. The emphasis is on uncovering and making available tacit knowledge, such that it can be exploited by the JISC and by F/HEIs to aid in medium-to-longer term decision making.
To this end, some work needs to be done to gather ‘intelligence’ about trends in the use of technologies, standards and practice in the sector.