I was offered the working title Information Management and I've stuck with it, because of the scope it permits and seriousness of this topic for us all. My first reaction was − this could be dull, worthy and worryingly meaningless. However, for me, and I hope for many of you too, this is what we are about! It is what first attracted me into IT and now I am aware as I move into HESA from an institutional background that Information Management is still at the core of what matters.
Story telling is back in fashion − so I read in the paper, promoting several events at the Edinburgh Fringe. So, in seeking to provide just a hint of entertainment, I will explore some of the myths and legends of information management, identify the more heroic qualities that are necessary in this business and see if indeed there is a holy grail . . .
Alison Allden became Chief Executive of HESA at the start of August 2009. The remit of HESA is to collect and disseminate data of relevance to the higher education sector involving interaction with all HEIs (who provide and access the data) and statutory customers (who commission and use the data). The importance of data management has been a theme throughout her career. Alison, most recently, was Deputy Registrar at the University of Bristol with responsibility across the student facing services and remained the Director of Information Services which was the post she was originally recruited to. Before that, she was Director of IT at the University of Warwick and first became involved with UCISA when she moved into the HE sector as Director of Computing for Goldsmiths College. Prior to that she ran computing for a Department of Health associated NDPB and worked in IT in two national museums, which followed a career in archaeology and a degree in Archaeology, Ancient History and Latin from the University of Bristol. She has been involved with JISC over many years, including chairing the Information Environment Committee and now the Committee for Infrastructure and Resources and is, therefore, a member of the JISC Board.
Does your strategy really drive your institution?
Writing strategic plans and statements is the easy part. What often proves far more difficult to achieve is widespread knowledge and acceptance of their contents across the institution and a direct causal link between what your strategies say and what your institution actually does. The new Strategy infoKit released today by JISC infoNet is designed to help universities and colleges to close these gaps. In this session we shall explore the pros and cons of using technology to create and sustain an ongoing ‘strategic conversation’ with staff from across the organisation in order to help your strategies come to life and fulfil their potential.
Steve currently acts as senior advisor on records and information management issues for JISC infoNet, an advisory service for managers within the HE and FE sectors. He is responsible for preparing and disseminating a range of guidance material and tools to help support the development of records and information management within the sector and is a well known speaker and writer on records management issues with over 60 papers and presentations to his credit.
Prior to moving to JISC infoNet in February 2007 Steve spent five years leading JISC’s own internal records and information management activities and its successful programme of innovative records management and information governance development projects.
Since obtaining his Masters with Distinction in Archives and Records Management from UCL in 1997, Steve has worked as Assistant Records Manager for the global pharmaceutical company Pfizer and Team Leader (Archives and Records Management) for the University of Gloucestershire.
Steve’s blog on the future of records management can be found at http://rmfuturewatch.blogspot.com/
Stuart Bolton and Richard Rankin
REF and internal research management − getting the right balance
With the replacement of the Research Assessment Exercise (RAE )with the Research Excellence Framework (REF), institutions have a unique opportunity to reassess their Research Information Management requirements and to decide whether their existing systems are fit for purpose and will be able to take them forward into the future. As part of the development process of the REF, in 2008 HEFCE ran a pilot of the bibliometric aspects of the new process. In conjunction with HEFCE, JISC infoNet conducted a brief project, informed by the pilot, to assess the ICT implications of the REF for institutions.
This presentation will briefly outline the findings of the JISC/HEFCE project, highlight current JISC forward looking work in the wider area of Research Information Management, and showcase the work of Queen’s University Belfast where their integration of research support systems has made for a flexible system that can be readily adapted to changing statutory requirements while supporting internal business drivers.
Stuart has over thirty years experience in IT, twenty seven of which have been spent working in higher education. Until August 2007, he was employed by Leeds Metropolitan University as their Information Services Manager where he was responsible for the acquisition, configuration and implementation of corporate information systems. Until he left Leeds Met, Stuart was a member of the UCISA CISG committee and UCISA Executive and work on a variety of projects with JISC.
Since leaving Leeds Met, Stuart has successfully worked as a freelance consultant specialising in the HE and FE sectors. He has worked with a range of universities, HEFCE and JISC infoNet on projects as varied as the Bologna process, CRMs, Knowledge base systems, integrating CPD administration into mainstream student record systems and, of course, the Research Excellence Framework.
Ricky Rankin is a Principal Analyst within the Library Services and Research Support Group within Information Services at Queen’s University Belfast.
The work of the Group involves supporting and developing a range of applications to support research within the University. Among the systems covered are High Performance Computing, Digital Asset Management and Research Support Systems.
The Research Support Systems assist with the management of research and are developed for the Research Policy Office and the Research Support Office. These systems were key to enabling the University to make its RAE2008 return and are being modified to meet the requirements of the REF.
ICT in HE and FE in the UK will have been responsible for the generation of over 500,000 tonnes of CO2 in 2009, and will have cost institutions over £100 million in energy costs alone. Institutions are under pressure to reduce these costs, both monetary and carbon related from government, funding councils and their own internal constituencies. This session will review the current state of the knowledge around Green ICT both in the FE and He sectors, and in the wider context of the public and private sectors. The session will highlight the work of the Scottish Funding Council funded Carbon Footprinting and Reduction project and will use the lessons learned so far in that project to provide a link to the new JISC Greening ICT programme, which plans as part of its work to extend this approach across the UK.
Green ICT means addressing both the carbon footprint and other waste generation aspects of ICT procurement, use and disposal as well as looking at the potential for ICT to reduce the environmental impact of the HE and FE sectors as a whole by allowing for more intelligent and less environmentally harmful ways of working and managing the campus.
The JISC Greening ICT programme will address these issues by helping to fill gaps in the knowledge base around Green ICT, funding exemplar and demonstrator projects and by helping the sector develop more robust sustainable procurement practices and processes.
Rob Bristow is a Programme Manager working for the Joint Information Systems Committee with responsibility for JISC’s Green ICT Programme. He has worked closely with the JISC funded Suste-IT project and is now responsible for developing a programme of work to move the Green ICT agenda forward in UK HE and FE.
Partnering with third parties and vendor management at Kings College London
Information Services and Systems (ISS) at Kings College London is working towards an ambitious change agenda delivering the Connected Campus programme while maintaining business as usual. ISS operates within a tightly resourced environment and services the needs of some 40,000 users. ISS has developed a strategy framework around multi-sourcing and vendor management to ensure that sourcing options are reviewed and vendor management capability developed to build relationships and maintain them in order to establish strategic partnerships with suppliers and so that value for money can be realised. The development of this framework incorporates the appropriate management of over 80 maintenance and software contracts including two key partner vendors. This session will review the elements of this strategic framework and the benefits that it has delivered.
Lucy Burrow is Head of IT Policy and Process within IT Systems at Kings College London with particular responsibility for strategic IT Security, service management and business continuity. She has previously worked across a number of Welsh higher education institutions in information management roles, most recently at Cardiff University where she was heavily involved in the Modern Working Environment programme. Prior to that, she worked for a global investment bank. She has extensive experience of information management and compliance.
Lucy is Chair of the Records Management Society Accreditation sub-committee and supports the MSc Records Management and Archives Administration programmes at Aberystwyth University as an external marker and occasional lecturer.
What if Web 2.0 really does change everything?
UCISA members have identified as one of the key areas of concern to IT Service departments the rise of cloud computing. This talk will address such concerns and discuss the opportunities which services in the cloud can present, the issues and risks which need to be addressed and strategies for maximising the potential benefits whilst minimising the risks.
The talk will cover popular externally hosted Web 2.0 services which the early adopters and enthusiasts are using to support their teach, learning and research work as well as those services, such as Twitter, which provide more social functions.
The talk will argue that universities have a responsibility to engage in innovative activities and explore new ways of furthering their institutional aims. The talk will conclude by describing a risks and opportunities framework which seeks to exploit the benefits which Web 2.0 can provide whilst addressing the potential risks.
Brian Kelly has been involved in web development since January 1993, when he helped establish a website at the University of Leeds (possibly the first institutional website in the UK). Since 1996, Brian has been employed at UKOLN, a national centre of expertise in digital information management based at the University of Bath in the UK. His responsibility is to advise the UK's higher and further community and the cultural heritage sector on ways of maximising the potential of the web.
Brian is a prolific blogger. His UK Web Focus blog provides a forum for thinking out loud about the implications of Web 2.0 and the Social Web, engaging in discussions and debate as well as disseminating his work activities. Brian is also a contributor to UKOLN's cultural heritage blog and the JISC fded PoWR blog.
Brian has been an invited guest speaker at several national and international conferences.
He has also written peer reviewed papers on topics including web accessibility, web standards and Web 2.0.
Smartcards − more than just ID
Fraser will take you through the implementation of QMU Cashless smartcard project which aimed to implement the use of contactless card technology in access control, vending, catering, library, parking, gym and printing at the news Queen Margaret University campus
As Director of IS and LRC at Queen Margaret University Fraser has overall strategic responsibility for the IT, AV and Library provision. He ensures that the operation of all these functions is in line with the institutional strategic objectives and how these can be implemented operationally. He leads a staff of approximately 65 who all strive to ensure that their functions provide an excellent service to staff, students and researchers alike. He has worked in higher education for over 10 years, at the London School of Economics prior to Queen Margaret University. He undertook a variety of roles, junior and senior before taking up the new Directorship role in 2006.
John Paschoud and Luke Taylor
JISC Identity Management Toolkit
The fact that Identity Management is an important thing for universities and colleges to get right should be a no brainer. But why is it hard to convince vice chancellors, principals and funding committees of this? JISC has responded by commissioning an Identity Management Toolkit to support ICT directors and staff in making the case, and then starting and supporting practical institutional projects. The Toolkit is being produced by a partnership between Bristol and Cardiff universities, Kidderminster College and the LSE, backed by UCISA, RUGIT and JISC, and will be published with a launch at the UCISA2010 Annual Management Conference in March.The Toolkit in production is being tested by projects at Kidderminster College and the University of Bristol. Both of these institutions had already seen a need to review, improve and integrate their Identity Management policies, practices and systems.This presentation will give an outline of what the finished Toolkit plans to include, an overview of the pilot project at Bristol, and will invite feedback from CISG delegates on what it should include.
John Paschoud is the InfoSystems Engineer and Projects Manager at the Library of the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). The Library Projects Team which he heads undertook the original evaluation for the JISC of potential new Access Management technologies, recommending that attention should be focused on the SAML standard and the Shibboleth implementation by Internet2. The Team subsequently undertook a similar evaluation for SURF in The Netherlands. The LSE had the first operational Shibboleth installation outside of North America, and the Library Projects Team has been fully involved in subsequent JISC programmes to develop a new Access Management infrastructure for UK education. John is a member of the UK Federation Technical Advisory Group, and is also involved in liaison on behalf of the UK higher education community with national bodies developing Access Management infrastructures in other countries. He was seconded as a member of theJISC Outreach Team supporting institutions, publishers and technology vendors in their adoption of Federated Access Management, was responsible for part of the JISC funded Identity Project, developing models for auditing Identity Management practices in HE institutions, and is currently managing the JISC Identity Management Toolkit project. He has tried playing golf exactly once but didn't get the point.Luke Taylor is the Applications Development Manager at the University of Bristol. Building on his previous experience as a senior consultant with an IT services firm, his current role is focused on the development of innovative and well integrated information systems services for use by all members of the University and external users.Luke began to see the potential opportunities for Identity Management, and the issues that arise due to the lack of well found policies, processes and systems, when the University began to investigate an institutional portal project in 2003. Since then, the University has struggled on with its concoction of disjointed policies and processes, and homemade systems to manage the identity life cycle. However, with a new University Card project, and future systems projects requiring knowledge about identities (prospect, applicant, staff, student, alumni, associate etc.), there is now the recognition of the importance of Identity Management. The JISC project was an opportunity too good to be missed.
The Hype Cycle of technology innovations
In this upbeat presentation we will explain the Hype Cycle – a predictable and repeating pattern of excitement, dismay and recovery that affects most technology based innovations as they become available in markets . We’ll show why it is fundamental and how an understanding of it can help managers make better risk and timing decisions over the adoption of new technologies and management techniques. We will also explore the 2009 hype cycle of emerging technologies to bring the subject to life with multiple examples.
An overview of Tier 4 Student Route
The aim of the presentation will be to provide delegates with an overview of the PBS Tier 4 Route for non EEA students to make entry clearance or leave to remain applications under the new Tier 4 route since its introduction on 31 March 2009. It will provide an update to delegates on Phase 3 of Tier 4 which went live on 5 October 2009 enabling the issue of Confirmations of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) on a voluntary/trial basis for in country students only. We will be able to give early feedback on the trial, lessons learned and plans for Phase 4, the complete roll out of the full IT implementation for all students’ in country and out of country mandatory CAS usage.
David has been with the UK Border Agency for 9 years and in that time has gained a wide range of experience which he has brought to the Points Based System (PBS) programme. Before joining the programme, David was UK lead on Accession case working involving Bulgarian and Romanian nationals who have recently joined the EU. David was at the forefront of developing policy and running the operational area dealing with this new area of legislation. David brought with him a wealth of skills and understanding that has enabled him to successfully help deliver the Tier 4 rollout and now leads the programme Communication function.
Beth Reichwald and Sandy Day
How many hours a year does your institution spend fixing, hiding or manually adjusting incorrect data? Do you know what the costs of incorrect data are for your institution in terms of time, reputation and money? At the University of Exeter we knew we had some problems with data quality, but over the years working practices had developed to deal with the problems without actually fixing them. The start of a Business Intelligence and Business Planning project gave us a fresh opportunity to address data quality on an institution wide basis.
This session will explore data quality in higher education. Why is data quality important and how do you know if you have a problem? Using Exeter as a case study, we will look at the issues, how we identified them and what action we have taken to fix them. The session will outline what tools we have used, our achievements and the lessons we have learnt, finishing with our top 10 tips for a data quality project.
Beth Reichwald has been working at the University of Exeter for 4 years. She currently splits her time between Exeter’s Planning Services Department and the Projects Office where she is managing the University’s Business Intelligence and Business Planning project. Managing data quality is a continual theme of work in Planning Services, however, it is her recent project work associated with the Business Intelligence project that has put the focus on fixing source systems and fundamentally improving data quality across the whole institution.
Sandy Day has been employed in Registry Services at the University of Exeter for 10 years. With responsibility for student records and registration, Sandy deals and responds to data quality issues which primarily affect HESA and GTC/ITT returns. Working in partnership with schools, services and students, Sandy focuses on enhancing the student experience and improving processes to deliver a high quality service. With a new Student Services Centre due to open at the University of Exeter in 2011, Sandy is currently working on IT solutions and implementing integrated data systems to deliver a joined up service and thus improve data quality across the services.
Windows SharePoint Services for collaboration at the University of Liverpool − low cost, high impact!
Windows SharePoint Services was launched to support collaborative working at the University of Liverpool. The system has been a resounding success and met a number of strategic institutional needs, including the ability for staff to grant access to a secure area to collaborate with partners who work outside the organisation.
This presentation will outline why Windows SharePoint Services was chosen, discuss the features and developments that fed into its success, and evaluate the costs and strategic benefits that the service brought to the institution.
Janet Stam’s background is in web communications, usability and user support. She plays a key role in the development of the IT service, focussing on the introduction of new services and user support. Janet is a member of the team who developed and launched Windows SharePoint Services at the University of Liverpool, and continues to support and feed into the development of the service.
Hard hats time
We are in the midst of the deepest global recession for many decades. In the early stages of this recession the financial sector was devastated followed by the construction and manufacturing sectors which were also very badly hit. Leading indicators would now suggest that the financial sector is showing signs of recovery and financial global stock markets are starting to price in signs of optimism. However, for many sectors, including the UK public sector, the dark times have yet to hit and unemployment rates and levels of company failures will rise in the period ahead.
In dealing with this, UK universities will have to devise strategies which are fit for their own purposes. In navigating through these troubled times it is essential that leaders and managers fully understand their organisation’s key levers and drivers. They must understand what an organisation does which is essential to its success and those things which can be discounted, discarded or modified with little overall impact. It is also essential that they understand the cost behaviours of their organisation and the elements of their business which can be built towards a sustainable financial future.
Some may say this is the time to descend into the bunker and sit out the hard times. This may or may not be the right response but it might be a good idea to put a hard hat on.
Derek Watson is Quaestor and Factor of the University of St Andrews. In this role his primary responsibility is for the development and implementation of the University’s financial and business strategies. During his time in the University, annual turnover has doubled, while supporting a major capital investment programme and coinciding with a period unprecedented academic success. In addition to the financial role, he also has executive responsibility for the University’s estate, its residential and business services, procurement and pensions. A qualified accountant, he joined the University in December 2002 from the National Health Service where he was Deputy Director of Finance and Property Development Manager of an NHS Trust.
Steve Yorkstone and Mark Robinson
What is Lean, how relevant is it, and could it work for me?
Striving to improve is part of human history. Approaches like Lean, Agile and Six Sigma are the latest part of this story.
Today, in the face of ever increasing needs to make efficiency gains, Lean type approaches are becoming increasingly familiar in HE.
Since 2006, St Andrews’ Lean team has been focussing on cultural change, effectiveness, and efficiency.
Lean is not a silver bullet, but as a direct result of Lean staff members have made better use of upwards of 2750 recurring working days a year, and driven annual cost savings in excess of £500k. More significant, however, is a growing can do culture, and evidence of institutional collaborative problem solving.
Mark Robinson is a Change Consultant on the University of St Andrews Lean Team.
Reflecting on Lean, Mark notes, “I am always amazed by the committed, enthusiastic staff we have here, who are willing to change the way they do their jobs, and who are excited by the prospect of contributing to the University's success.”
Prior to Lean he was St Andrews’ Information Management Coordinator, and held a number of management roles in the New Zealand public sector.
Steve Yorkstone is also a Change Consultant on the University of St Andrews Lean Team. About Lean, Steve comments, “Making people’s working lives better motivates me. We’re seeing real transformational change, with staff releasing lots of their time to do more value added work and feeling great about it.”
Before Lean, Steve managed a team of Peer Supporters, providing assistance on a wide range of personal difficulties. He currently works teaching communication skills in St Andrews’ Medical School.