University of Auckland (MIS100 2012)

University of Auckland (MIS100 2012)

2011 ranking: 5

Senior IS executive: Elizabeth Coulter, director IT services

Address: 22 Princes Street, Auckland


Following further restructuring in 2011, Elizabeth Coulter joined the University of Auckland (UoA) as IT services director in August 2011. She reports to the University’s director of organisational performance and CIO, Stephen Whiteside. Coulter has moved to UoA from The University of Queensland, where she held a senior IT position. Tim Chaffe is currently acting director, Office of the CIO, also reporting to Whiteside.

The key ICT focus for 2012 is on building the capabilities of the central IT services group to foster and create a service-orientated organisation, thereby improving end to end IT services across the university. “This is part of a consolidation initiative to deliver more effective and efficient IT by reducing duplication of services such as email, storage, server management, and backup, and providing a standard university desktop environment,” says Coulter. “A review of our service management processes and service strategies and replacement of the service management system are fundamental in moving towards this goal and improving delivery of centralised services.” New Zealand’s largest tertiary provider is investing in a number of key infrastructure projects in 2012. A datacentre is currently being built at the Tamaki Innovation Campus, and will house the DR facilities, as well as the National eScience Infrastructure (NESI) and other eResearch initiatives. At the same time, IT services is focusing on enhancing disaster recovery capabilities and increasing resilience. “In order to support the increasing data requirements and processing speeds, it is also necessary to upgrade our core network infrastructure,” Coulter explains. “We are looking initially at a 10GB network, with the potential to increase throughput as requirements increase.” Other scheduled infrastructure projects include the replacement of the university’s PABX, and the implementation of presence technologies to support collaboration, as well as a focus on teaching and learning technologies. “The focus on teaching and learning in 2012 is around upgrading a large number of our teaching spaces and implementing versatile technologies where suitable. We will also be building flexible teaching spaces in support of changing pedagogical practices,” she says. Students will see additional benefits in access as the university looks to upgrade internet capacity and expand wireless capability. Significant activities are also being undertaken in central application services, with continuing progress on the Research Management System, Hyperion planning and budgeting, reporting, upgrades to HR, and enhancements to the finance and student administration systems. The content management system is scheduled for review, and the university recently sent out an RFP for a records management system. “IT is fundamental for achieving the research, teaching and learning and administrative objectives of the university,” says Coulter. “Key areas of focus in 2012 are on eResearch Infrastructure, upgrading teaching spaces, improving student services and rationalisation of IT services."

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