5. Corporate Plan 2005-6 to 2009-10

The University’s Corporate Plan was published in September 2005 (Supplement I to the Gazette, 136 (September, 2005).) after a lengthy consultation process. OUCS welcomed the publication of this document as it set out a pragmatic approach to ten key strategic target areas for Oxford, whilst at the same time protecting the values and overall principles of the University. Clearly the plan is aimed primarily at academic divisions and departments, and certain objectives (such as the targets for student numbers) are not directly relevant to OUCS. However, even such objectives may have a direct effect on OUCS’s services and the department needs to be ready to accommodate these. Furthermore, the impact of the Corporate Plan across the whole of IT within the University is being analysed by Work Task C of the ICT Strategy and OUCS will be monitoring its recommendations closely (http://www.ict.ox.ac.uk/strategy/worktasks/c/).

What follows then is a section-by-section discussion of the ten strategic areas — focussing on key topics such as teaching, research, and overall support services. Under these we then list the key objectives OUCS proposes which will assist the University in meeting these strategies. It is important to note though, that ICT will increasingly be used to monitor, audit, and facilitate many of the administrative processes that support these strategies. It will also be used to disseminate information in a speedy and appropriate manner. Specifically then:

  • OUCS will seek to develop, bring in, and support systems to facilitate the administrative processes behind teaching and research in collaboration with other bodies (such as MIS); as well as fostering innovation in teaching and research (VId (References in bold point to sections and paragraphs in the Corporate Plan.));
  • OUCS will seek to develop and support communication tools that facilitate speedy dissemination of information to people on demand; in particular we will be promoting a ‘unified and seamless access’ approach through the developing Single Sign-On (SSO) facility — WebAuth — and the exploration of web portals;
  • OUCS will continue to promote the use of open/agreed standards for data interchange. We view this as crucial if the University is to successfully manage the data flow of information from system to system, and to develop a managed environment for its systems and architecture;
  • OUCS will act in a customer-driven way developing its services to the needs of the academics and students within the University (VIc); it will adopt a project-based approach to this by developing business cases, support and dissemination procedures, and appropriate sustainability policies.
  • OUCS will continue to act as a centre of expertise and advice on IT related matters.

To abstract a key point from the above, OUCS will continue to be responsive to the needs of the academic users within the University, and will seek to further develop appropriate communication channels. Through its IT Support Staff Service the department already has excellent links with the dispersed IT Support throughout the University and it will seek to build on this. In addition, however, it will be proactively seeking to build links with academic users via division, department, and faculty IT committees; and via college links (formal and informal). Finally OUCS will be monitoring closely the recommendations to emerge from Work Task D of the University’s ICT Strategy which is focussing on the IT needs of the Collegiate University (http://www.ict.ox.ac.uk/strategy/worktasks/d/).

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