Towards the Digital Institution

Layton, Roger
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We are living at a unique point in history in which all memory institutions are being transformed from purely physical institutions towards the digital institution. This transformation could not occur in previous generations, since the technologies were not in place to support this change. This transformation should also be largely completed by the next generation in 20 years or so, with all institutions will have a digital structure which reflects and complements their physical structure. It is thus our generation’s responsibility, and perhaps ours alone in the long history of memory recording, to ensure that this transformation occurs properly, so that it benefits all future generations. 9 This transformation is a one-off event and it encompasses the entire institutional operation and is not confined merely to the capturing digital images and the creation of repositories. Rather, this transformation requires a total re-engineering of the institution, and requires a rapid catch-up in knowledge, capacity and technology within a sector which is largely populated with older specialists within insufficient knowledge of the digital world. This paper presents some key elements of this transformation with which we are currently engaged to help various institutions through this sea change. Our experience has been that few institutions have started to make significant moves into this digital transformation, although everyone has accepted its necessity, and we are now at the start of the real work which is needed throughout the entire sector. This has led me to identify three major areas of work to be done.
Digital Institution.
Roger Layton Associates.