New Business Model for Value Co-creation in Smarter Universities


In the last decades a variety of smart ICT solutions enhances the quality of universities’ services and improves the performances of both teachers and students. The availability of new technologies has permitted to develop the model of “smart university” as a platform that acquires data, shares information, creating a collaborative network to drive the analysis and the enhancement of the teaching and learning environment and improve decision making. However, this represents a simply technological approach to smart university model because it doesn’t take into account other variables. Recent modifications in laws and policy (Europe 2020, Italian law 240/2010 and Italian Legislative Decree 10/2012), social issues and more recent ICT innovations have stimulated the development of a new paradigm for the university organization, which is asked to supply high quality services in order to stay competitive in a global scenario. These lead to the need to transform smart university in “smarter university”. The concept of smarter universities characterizes the ability of universities to contribute to the economic and social development and the design of organizational systems that uses technology to provide sustainable, personalized and interactive services. The main feature of the smarter universities is the combination of technology with the following six areas: learning, management, governance, social, health and green. Considering the emerging and also complex nature of smarter university seems that this type of network could support the development of an open and interactive new business model (NBM), that promotes: • the co-creation of learning and research contents between universities and other organizations (national institutions, companies and local community); • the use of web and digital technologies to manage strategic and operational processes in a collaborative environment; • the development of new performance measurement systems able to capture the social, cultural and economic dimensions of the value creation. While the literature has developed the concept of smarter university, very limited studies are devoted to identify its managerial implication and to design tools to measure and communicate smart performance. This work describes a practical Smarter New Business Model (SNMB) that can be applied to the smarter universities highlighting the differences between the traditional universities business model and the critical factors driving the success of the smarter universities. The research is carried out considering the literature on smart universities, business models and integrated reporting.

Key-Words: Public Sector Administration, smarter university, Information Technologies, sustainability, new business model