.digital blog

Digital infrastructure – the technical foundation for the digital transformation

Digital infrastructures are the basis for excellent research, flexible and networked teaching, and transparent and effective management in the age of digitalization.

For us, digital infrastructures are all technologies and services that help staff and students at TU Wien to perform their tasks better and more efficiently. The digital transformation presents many new challenges for infrastructure providers, such as TU.it, opens an external URL in a new window. The number and type of terminal devices is increasing enormously, bringing your own device ('BYOD') is a matter of course and users' expectations are clear – everything that works at home needs to work just as quickly and easily in the workplace. Ever-increasing volumes of data need to remain secure and be available everywhere, cooperations with partners around the world need to be possible at all times and, whilst nobody wants to search, everybody wants speed in finding locations, rooms, people, data, educational content and other resources.

TU Wien is addressing these challenges in its digitalization strategy by focusing on development in three areas: Smart Campus, repositories and high-performance computing/artificial intelligence/machine learning.

Smart Campus – more than just the latest laptop

For us, Smart Campus means making the TU Wien campus – whether physically or virtually – 'smarter' with new technologies. A cutting-edge digital control system should make it easier for you to find your way around the campus – whether this be with information screens or your own smartphone – in an accessible manner and adapted to suit individual needs and requirements.

A smarter campus should also help to improve security and energy efficiency. Lighting and heating can be controlled more efficiently, and a quicker and more effective response is achievable in the event of an emergency.

The Digital Workplace is a key element of the Smart Campus. This provides TU employees and students with an efficient working environment that can be accessed anywhere, at any time, by means of various devices such as smartphones, tablets or conventional PCs. The Digital Workplace includes everything we need to work together, even if we are physically separated or working at different times of day. Our collaboration toolbox includes more formal tools such as a document management system and web conferencing software, as well as solutions for more straightforward, informal collaboration, such as TUchat or the TUwiki.

Expanding data infrastructure

The results of digital cooperation, whether from research, teaching or administration, should be available to all over the long term. To achieve this, TU Wien is relying on the development of the digital repository infrastructure used for the long-term and central provision of publications, research data and program code.

Last but not least, large amounts of data also require infrastructures to process them. This is what high-performance computing (HPC) is all about. TU Wien already has a leading role in Austria in this respect, which it will continue to develop. HPC infrastructure needs to be available for top-level research as well as for a wider target group, particularly students. Expanding the HPC infrastructure for teaching is thus a key focus. TU Wien's dataLAB provides the framework for this – it is where we bring together expertise and support for big data, artificial intelligence and machine learning.