5.4.2 Reviewing ICT Services

It is essential that ICT Services are correctly structured, resourced and integrated within an institution to enable the deployment of ICT that is aligned with institutional strategy.

Institutions deploy a number of different ICT management and service structures which have been influenced by the structure and management of the institution. The key institutional models include federal, epitomising the collegiate institutions and the unitary model providing for centralised institutions. In addition, centralised or devolved ICT services are used.

The self-assessment seeks to identify if ICT Services, across all sources, constitutes a capacity to meet the institutional needs in the formulation and delivery of ICT aligned to institutional strategy.

The key indicators of this include:

  1. The sources of ICT services are the most effective and appropriate for the institutional structure and needs:
    1. multiple sources of ICT services have been justified in delivering against local ICT needs. The drive for institutional agility is placing additional importance on how ICT strategy is formulated and implemented. If institutions are to be agile and deliver ICT value at an institutional level, all sources of ICT services must be strategically aligned. This allows the identification and implementation of shared services rather than individual solutions. More complex service structures for ICT may be justified but these should be reviewed in the light of current day institutional objectives. Institutions require the appropriate governance in place that will accommodate all ICT service structures, and harmonise institutional and ICT strategy formulation and delivery
  2. The deployment of a Chief Information Officer (CIO), or equivalent senior ICT professional fulfilling the role of CIO:
    1. a CIO working across the institution to establish the visibility and understanding of the current and future business needs. The manner and complexity of this will again be dependent on institutional structures and management. Our research found that large commercial organisations develop this commitment to reflect their structures and may use a CIO hierarchy and reporting structure
    2. a CIO enhancing communications and encouraging the institutional activities and initiatives that contribute to institutional and ICT strategies
    3. a CIO encouraging a cultural change. If the institution considers its requirements for services, as opposed to individual systems, more strategic solutions can be used to deliver the service
    4. a CIO supporting the Senior Management Team in ICT awareness and informed decision making. The CIO role is able to enhance the technological and business knowledge available for horizon scanning activities
  3. The capacity of ICT services is adequate to meet the current and future requirements of the institution as defined and developed from its institutional strategy
  4. ICT services work with senior management and users across the institution to develop more cost effective ICT solutions to requirements for business and ICT services
    1. by focusing on requirements as 'service requirements' and exploring the alternative ways it may be delivered ICT are deploying more cost effective and innovative approaches
    2. Further support for this approach is provided through EA and establishing shared services.

More information is available within the knowledge base with particular reference to:

Section 2.5 ICT Services and Section 2.6 ICT Governance.

Good Practice

The following are considered good practice in ICT Services:

  • Deployment of a Chief Information Officer, or equivalent ICT professional in this role
  • Effective communications between the SMT and senior ICT management
  • Effective 'consulting' across the senior management of the institution
  • ICT service structures in place to meet the institutional needs