3.3 Institution C - Operational Maturity

Institution Profile

Institution C is a large, internationally renowned UK collegiate university with a devolved institutional structure. Within the federation academic departments are located centrally and are not affiliated with any particular college. Colleges arrange the tutorial teaching and well-being for their undergraduates.

The Role of ICT

ICT is understood to be critical to the continued success of the university. It is provided by a devolved ICT framework through the respective structures within divisions, faculties, departments, colleges and central administration. The framework provides local ICT support with autonomy and is complemented by centrally provided, optional standards based shared services and enterprise wide services.

The Director of ICT is uniquely placed to oversee the complete picture of ICT within the University.The role oversees internal business units responsible for the delivery of ICT facilities, training, support services, library services and computing resources.

The ICT Committee represents the devolved collegiate ICT requirements.

Strategy Formulation & Implementation Process

An ICT committee provides a single point of governance for ICT across the collegiate University. It determines a strategy and policy framework for the collegiate University, and reviews the scale, quality and cost effectiveness of ICT services. It is establishing an ICT framework to enable centrally and locally provided services to work together efficiently, reliably and cost effectively. Its membership represents the entire university on ICT related matters and provides a consultative framework for ICT strategy formulation and decision making and a separate arm for strategy implementation. Budgetary approval for ICT is vested in the committee and in certain cases additional more senior committees.

The chair of the committee reports to the Registrar but there is no formal integration of ICT to institutional strategy.

The introduction of the ICT committee and the formulation of a Strategic ICT plan has required changes in governance and produced a broader engagement of university staff in ICT related issues.

Performance measures for the success of the ICT strategy and its implementation have been defined to include improvements in services, quality and cost-effectiveness of new services, the sharing of best practice and the prioritisation and adequate resourcing of central ICT services within a contained budget.

Maturity, Strengths and Constraints

As a collegiate University with a devolved institutional structure the provision of ICT is complex. A central provision of services is not possible as the majority of IT staff operate locally from colleges and halls. The strengths of the University's approach to strategy formation and implementation are its attempts to drive centralisation, where appropriate, the use of consultation procedures to determine IT priorities and investments and its move towards collaborative work environments.

The institution is constrained by its structure, fragmented structure of ICT service provision and the absence of any strategic process alignment between institutional and ICT. Although a senior institutional role exists in the director of ICT there is currently no member of the senior management team with extensive ICT expertise and experience or holding a Chief Information Officer role.

Overall, it may be concluded that institution C maintains an operational level of maturity in its formulation and delivery of ICT, with some evidence of changes to produce a more strategic approach.

Developing maturity

The key areas the institution has identified to enable greater maturity include:

  • Aligning and synchronising the strategy formulation processes between the instution and ICT
  • Developing the ICT strategy and continue to review and maintain its accuracy
  • Continuing to develop centralised shared services where appropriate benefits are identified
  • Improving the translation of strategic ICT imperatives into ICT deliverables