Digital enablement will be key to our success. Over the last financial year we've continued our investment in our digital infrastructure – both in member-facing areas and our back office.
Enhancing the member experience
We added a number of new features to our website this year to allow members to more easily see the benefits available to them, as well as a new preference centre where members can manage the information they receive from us. We also made the site easier to use and navigate, in direct response to user feedback.
We built a new online portal for our study centres to submit results of qualifications. This has significantly reduced the complexity and time taken to provide that information, so we'll be able to issue certificates recognising our student members’ qualifications faster than ever before.
There’s been a significant increase over the last few years in CIPD students choosing online study as their primary learning channel. To improve support for students studying directly with CIPD Training, we upgraded our digital learning platform to provide a far better learning experience. With the improved tools available we also started to offer digital delivery for some of our short courses.
We continued to invest in our underlying technology in many areas, including enhancing our cybersecurity in response to the continually changing threat landscape. For example, we rolled out multi-factor authentication for staff. We’ve also moved much of our main infrastructure to a new private cloud environment. While we were already operating in this way, our new provider allows us to reduce costs and improve the robustness of our technology as we move the remaining services to this new environment. These developments will enable us to provide our customers with a more reliable service.
Investing in a digital future
To achieve our growth plans, we’ll need to considerably increase our investment in our digital capabilities and infrastructure. We know, for example, that our data, e-commerce and content systems are all in need of significant development. The CIPD board is now considering the scale and pace of investment needed – perhaps as much as doubling our £2 million a year in strategic investments for a short time. But we also recognise the importance of investing our customers' and members' money wisely and are putting measures in place to ensure that all investments are supported by well-evidenced business cases.