IT Strategy 2020
A strategic plan for information technology solutions and services 2016 to 2020
A strategic plan for information technology solutions and services 2016 to 2020
I am pleased to introduce the IT@UCD: IT Strategy 2020 - a strategic plan for information technology solutions and services 2016 to 2020.
This plan is the product of over six months of analysing data gathered from within UCD; a review of the key lessons from the previous IT Strategy; our quality improvement plan; independent review of our key IT processes; technology trends in higher education and industry; and a focused consultation process both internally and externally.
The full version of IT Strategy 2020 is published online.
We trust that this plan offers an appropriate reflection of the mission, vision, values, objectives and strategic initiatives of the UCD Strategy 2015-2020, which includes College and School plans and the supporting strategies of the UCD Strategy for Research, Innovation and Impact (2015 - 2020) among others.The plan sets out how we intend to support and contribute to the UCD Strategy over the next five years. Whatever your role at UCD, we believe you will find this strategic plan, relevant, comprehensive, and a useful guide to decision making, priority setting and action.
Our approach has been to map out the UCD IT strategic goals which support and contribute to the delivery of the UCD strategic objectives and initiatives across the thematic areas of: Supporting Research; Enhancing Educational Technology Services; Contributing to the Student Experience; and Enabling Global Engagement. This approach ensures that a key outcome of the IT Strategy 2020 will be the delivery of end to end services. In order to achieve these ambitious goals, we in IT Services will also focus on facilitating transformation and strategic information delivery and how we can enhance the delivery of service and platform excellence.
All research activities in the main rely on some form of information technology solutions and services. IT now pervades research across all the major research themes: Agri-Food; Culture; Economy & Society;
Health; ICT; Energy and Environment. The majority of this research is done through interdisciplinary teams working with colleagues across institutions globally and relying on advanced networking and other core technologies to pursue discovery.Research teams generate vast amounts of new data from the internet of things, social media, digital content and other technology platforms every second of the day. This is commonly known as “big data” and requires
information technology solutions and services that integrate activities within UCD as well as national and global domains and partners.
Our challenge is to identify the infrastructure, services, and support structures that can provide the most value in the areas of greatest need for the UCD research community.The following goals contribute and support the objectives of the UCD Strategy for Research, Innovation and Impact (2015-2020).
• Enabling easy access by researchers in all disciplines to infrastructure,tools, services and support.
• In partnership with key stakeholders, designing and implementing a Research Data Management policy and plan.
• Enhancing the UCD High Performance Computing service.
• In partnership with key stakeholders,implementing a new research information management system.
Educational technologies can help to enhance teaching and learning across UCD and leverage UCD’s core strengths as a research and educational institution. Harnessing technology to collaborate and create digital content can provide a bridge between teaching and research, thus enabling the dissemination of research both in the classroom and across the community. The impact of technology and globalisation on higher education is significant. Faculty and students are
using more and more IT every day, whether we are talking about technology-aided interaction in the classroom, video capture for later consumption, or online assessment/simulations to augment hands on activities. Technology provides the infrastructure to allow new ways of reaching students – in some cases far beyond the campus classroom, such as in “massive open online classes” (MOOCs). These applications of technology in education must be explored so that our faculty have the knowledge and capability to take full advantage of the most appropriate technologies.
The following goals serve to support the University’s objectives and initiatives in providing an educational experience that defines international best practice. These goals will provide easier access to learning technologies, establish a core baseline of educational technologies, support innovation and most importantly empower faculty, staff and students.
• Facilitating the exploration, development, and adoption of new teaching tools and technologies.Focusing on supporting Colleges, Schools and educational technologists through this process.
• Establishing a Learning Hub platform that incorporates a virtual learning technology environment with forward-looking learning systems and tools to support educational excellence across the UCD community.
• Supporting faculty in the development of academic content and use of learning technologies through training, consultancy and guidance. Additionally, offering opportunities to showcase achievements in TEL (technology enhanced learning) through local and national events and conferences.
• Providing new teaching, learning and advising tools that support the delivery of a personalised learning experience to students who are highly mobile learners.
• Designing and implementing a set of technology solutions that will support formative and summative assessment methods in UCD.
Providing information technology solutions and services that meet student needs is a key goal for IT Services in UCD. Their needs are diverse and students are generally early adopters of new technologies, which challenges the IT landscape in UCD. They are constantly “on” smartphones and social media software that allows them to be in continuous contact with friends and family regardless of their location. The IT Strategy 2020 acknowledges this lifestyle, and also supports students’ effective use of UCD information technology solutions and services in the pursuit of their educational ambitions. Ensuring positive outcomes from this use of technology solutions and services requires regularinteraction with the UCD student community throughout their relationship with UCD, from prospective to alumni.
IT Services will set out to enhance the provision of information solutions and services that support the student journey through UCD. This will include all student groups both on and off the main campus in Belfield. The following goals serve to support the objectives and strategic initiatives as outlined in the UCD Strategy 2015-2020.
• Providing the essential information technology solutions and services across the UCD community to achieve best practices for interacting with students.
• Engaging with our students, prospective students and alumni regularly to understand their needs and identify opportunities for collaboration.
• Providing new teaching, learning and advising tools that support the delivery of a personalised learning experience to students who are highly mobile learners (linked to same goal under Enhancing Educational Technology Services).
• Deploying new and enhanced online processes to help drive change and increase efficiency and effectiveness across the UCD community (with a student focus under this goal).
Globalisation is one of UCD’s key strategic initiatives. To deliver on this initiative, the Global Engagement Strategy sets out to further enhance our international culture, grow our global reputation and to increase the impact of our excellence in scholarship, research and innovation on key global issues. The realisation of UCD’s global ambitions will be supported by our global centres and our extensive network of partners worldwide. The design and implementation of information technology solutions and services will be a key enabler to delivering on these goals.
As our vision states we want to Empower People: by transforming University life with new and emerging digital technologies. This best places us and this strategic plan to deliver on Objective 5: Create an enabling environment for UCD’s global activities and more specifically by enhancing the faculty and staff experience. The following goals support the Enabling of Global Engagement activities.
• Enabling easy access to infrastructure, tools, services and support, which will contribute to the successful implementation of the Global Engagement Strategy.
• Further developing the integrated systems that support the full lifecycle of student recruitment from enquiry through to offer and acceptance. (Linked to same goal under Facilitating Transformation and Strategic Information Delivery)
• Delivering analytics to support the implementation of the Global Engagement Strategy and enabling data driven decision-making.
• Designing and implementing a new IT platform to support the Global Partnerships initiative.
IT Services has always played a pivotal role in facilitating transformation in the way the University is run – from the implementation of integrated enterprise applications to the development of online services and portals and the delivery of operational and management information. Our work in this area over the period of the IT strategy will focus on further deepening and strengthening the services we offer. Over the coming five year period we will look to meet the following major goals:
• Further developing the integrated systems that support the full lifecycle of student recruitment from enquiry through to offer and acceptance across the UCD community.
• In collaboration with other support units, ensuring that the portfolio of enterprise applications meets the needs of our users in the University and offers the highest standards of usability.
• Delivering analytics to support the implementation of the UCD Strategy 2015-2020 and enabling data driven decision-making.
• Deploying new and enhanced online processes to help drive change and increase efficiency and effectiveness across the UCD community, in collaboration with other support units.
• In collaboration with key stakeholders, enhancing the services and platforms we use to communicate and deliver online services and information to staff, students, alumni and external audiences.
IT Service Excellence describes the processes and methods currently in use, or which will be developed and applied to the definition, description, development and management of information technology solutions and services across the UCD community. The effectiveness of the practices and methodologies used will affect all parts of the UCD community that rely on IT Services as UCD requires information technology solutions and services that are secure, reliable, flexible, sustainable and accessible.
IT Services staff are key to the delivery of this strategic plan so we need to ensure that we have a strong talent management system, with appropriate mechanisms in place for recruitment, competency management, training and development, succession planning, retention, and reward. A key outcome from this strategic theme is to enhance the learning culture that is currently taking root in IT Services. Best practice in governance, customer engagement and customer focused activities will guide us along the way so we are ready and able to contribute to and support the objectives & initiatives of the UCD Strategy 2015-2020 and IT Strategy 2020. The following goals will support the delivery of Service Excellence.
• Designing and implementing internal and UCD IT wide governance structures.
• Promoting and developing excellence in our IT Relationship Management model across the University, enabling the IT function to further empower and inspire our customers.
• Enhancing our existing IT Support model in line with recognised best practice to ensure all customers – faculty, staff, students – receive a consistent premium service in every contact with IT@UCD.
• Empowering our staff through a talent management initiative.
• Managing change. Providing leadership to those affected by technology and organisational change (internal and external).
• Designing and implementing a service quality management function, which includes measurement, into IT processes for service development and management.
• Enhancing our internal and external communications, which clearly outline the information technology solutions and services we deliver and support.
• Managing the lifecycle of IT services and projects to ensure there is a focus on quality improvement and value for money.
The delivery of all information technology solutions and systems are dependent on the secure and reliable infrastructure and platforms that are in place today.We need to continue to deliver and enhance this level of service and assess emerging new technologies that may be fit for purpose in delivering on this theme e.g.Cloud, Mobile. The University faces ever increasing levels of cyber threats which pose major risks to the reputation and operations of UCD. We will design and implement a strategic IT Security plan to assist in addressing these threats.
The University’s web presence is becoming the gateway to the physical campus and the experience that students and parents have in that space contributes to their view of the University as a whole. There is a real power to be tapped into by leveraging a range of digital media channels to communicate a message or reinforce UCD’s brand. We will provide a framework – together with the necessary skillsets – to enable the UCD community to effectively use digital media across various channels to engage with their target audiences – anytime, anywhere and on any device. The following goals will support the delivery of Platform Excellence.
• Providing world-class platforms to support the information technology solutions and systems we deliver.
• Providing platforms and services to support a vibrant and dynamic web and mobile presence that enables easy management of content and are secure, reliable, flexible, sustainable and accessible.
• Designing and implementing a strategic IT Security plan that includes adherence to EU General Data Protection Regulations.
The IT Strategy 2020 presented on a page.
The IT Services Strategy encompasses our vision, mission, principles and values and sets out our strategic themes and goals with respect to the UCD strategic objectives and initiatives outlined in the UCD Strategy 2015-2020.