View from the Director’s Chair, October 2012

Since my last blog it feels as though ITS has been caught up in a whirlwind of activity as the new academic year has begun. This year has seen a significant increase in the number of office moves, changes to some of our administration processes and a generally high level of requests for IT assistance, all at a time when many of our teams have been hit by unusually high levels of sickness absence. The way in which everyone has pulled together and kept going under pressure has been a great encouragement and an example of real dedication to keeping our services running.

In the midst of the pressure I must mention a real hero in our midst too. Earlier in the month our Telephone Systems Manager, Colin Cooper, noticed that one of his colleagues (Phil Sainsbury) was looking and feeling very unwell and recognized the onset of a heart attack. Because of Colin’s swift action in taking Phil straight to A&E at the Royal Berks, I’m pleased to say that Phil is now making a good recovery. We wish Phil all the best as he recuperates and are very thankful that Colin acted so wisely and so quickly. Any more volunteers for First Aid training….!?

Despite all the busyness, this month has also been a time to consider a number of potential service developments for the future and, in particular, the extent to which ITS needs to explore the greater use of “Cloud” application services over the next couple of years. There are several ideas which are gathering pace at present and now need to be developed into delivery projects. Our challenge, as always,  is to drive down the costs of IT whilst continuing to offer better services to our internal customers.

And finally a note of congratulation to Anton Lawrence on his recent appointment as Assistant Director of IT Services (Systems & Communications). It’s been “all change” recently in the IT senior management team, and it will be good to have a full team in place again to lead us through some of the development we need to engage in over the coming year.  We look forward to Anton joining our senior team in November.



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