Size of IS shop: 290
Mobile PCs: 2600
Hand-held devices: 330
Total screens: 14,562
Industry: Educational services
PC environment: Windows Vista, XP, 7; Apple; Linux; Toshiba; Dell; Lenovo; HP
Server environment: Windows 2003, 2008; Oracle; Red Hat; Unix; Novell; IBM; HP; Dell; Apple
DBMS: Oracle, SQL, MySQL
Address: Leith Street, Dunedin
Key IS projects this year: Upgrade of central infrastructure (servers and SANs); datacentre build and commissioning; identity and access management system; virtualisation; wireless network expansion; student management system; student email upgrade; managed desktop for students — strategy; content management system; HR recruitment and induction.
The University of Otago has more than 19,000 students each year, with a full-time equivalent staff of around 3600. Despite the 2009 recession, there has been little effect on ICT projects or staffing, and budgets are slightly up in 2010. “Investments in ICT resources are required to achieve excellence,” says director of information technology services Mike Harte. “However, we have focused on reducing costs by extending the life of some assets and aggregating services to drive down unit costs.”
Investments in technology are made strategically by Harte’s team, with the objective of supporting key business plans for the university. IT will be used to provide a high-quality research infrastructure, including an enhanced e-research capability, as well as physical facilities and equipment that will underpin the enhancement of research performance in 2010. It will also be utilised to provide an attractive, supportive environment for research students, while aiming to increase the number of such students enrolling at Otago. High-quality facilities and support services, as well as the ongoing development of e-learning capabilities, will continue to ensure teaching excellence. Several major projects are underway this year or due to start soon, including an upgrade of the university’s central infrastructure — both servers and storage area networks. Datacentres are a focus for the second year in a row, with the building and commissioning of a new datacentre expected soon.
A strategy around managed desktop functionality for students will be completed this year, while other student-centred projects will include upgrades to the student management and email systems. An online HR recruitment and induction system will be rolled out, reducing paper trails and inefficiency, while increasing productivity and enabling the HR department to more effectively recruit, settle and manage staff.
Investments in virtualisation will continue from last year, along with wireless, mobilisation and a project to interlink lecture theatres across the university’s campus. New areas of focus include business intelligence, unified communications, cloud computing, knowledge management, project portfolio management, disaster recovery and high performance computing.
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