View from the Director’s Chair – May 2012

IT Services has been a very busy department since my last entry, so I will try to play catch up a little! The last month or so has seen significant projects delivered by us, not least delivering the IT & Telephone systems into the Kotoraya Tower in Malaysia.

A classroom in Kotoraya

A classroom in Kotoraya

The advances in technology that have enabled us to provide the ‘Reading in a box’ solution are quite something, as we are using ‘thin client’ desktop hardware and the telephone system is Voice Over IP (VOIP). The former allows us to maintain the systems centrally and the latter means that you can call someone in Malaysia as if they are on the main University Campuses here in the United Kingdom.

'Reading In a Box'

Reading in a box

Back home, work has begun on identifying and collecting a range of performance data which will help  IT Services to demonstrate the quality and reliability of the services that we provide. This work is still in its early stages, but some useful data has started to be gathered. In addition to measuring outputs such as systems availability, IT has begun to collect information from customers about their satisfaction with the response to issues reported to the Help Service. The first month’s data (March 2012) has now been collated and is as an early example of this qualitative feedback:

Satisfaction Survey Results - March 2012

Satisfaction Survey Results - March 2012

Work is also continuing on developing the IT Services Operating Plan and our draft Plan identifies a number of internal service objectives which will help us support the new University Strategy. These include:

  • Strengthening project and portfolio management disciplines within ITS
  • Review of and improvements to core business processes within ITS, and to adopt ITIL (IT Infrastructure Library) best practice where possible
  • Strengthening the capacity of ITS support teams by enabling cross-training and more flexible deployment of people within all technical support disciplines
  • Improvements to the communication between  ITS,  Faculties, Schools, Departments and Students
  • Ensure that core network and data centre capacity is reviewed and updated regularly
  • Review opportunities for efficiency savings arising from developments in cloud computing services

Work on these will continue to keep us busy as we head into the summer period and further into the year and I will do my best to keep you informed of our progress. As always, if you would like to contact me about any of these matters or developments, please feel free to do so.

John

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