1. A letter from the Director of IT

Professor Paul Jeffreys
OUCS embodies the themes of quality and change. This annual report for 2009-2010 summarizes and celebrates the continuing efforts by OUCS staff to deliver high quality services, to support the Information Technology needs of the collegiate University, to innovate and to adjust to new demands. In fulfilling these objectives OUCS is grateful for the productive partnership it has with local IT staff across the collegiate University.

The year in review saw new IT services commissioned, new facilities built and changes proposed in ICT governance.

Possibly the most imaginative and far-reaching project ever undertaken by the Department was brought into full production this year. Nexus – an email and calendaring system with a documentation and collaboration service, built on the Microsoft Exchange 2007 and Microsoft Office SharePoint Server – is now being used by departments and colleges across the University; there are 35,000 active accounts.

The Shared Data Centre (SDC) has been built in the new Oxford Molecular Pathology Institute and handed over to OUCS. The initiative is in direct response to a recommendation from the Internal Auditors to offer greater resilience for enterprise-wide services. The SDC is designed as a state-of-the-art facility with a focus on energy efficiency to reduce power usage and minimize greenhouse gas emissions. It will be commissioned in the first half of 2011. It will ensure capacity, resilience and energy efficiency for business-critical ICT services; and it will provide a shared service for divisions, departments and colleges that require server or application hosting facilities.

In Trinity Term 2010, Council considered a report from the internal auditors on the University's governance arrangements for ICT. The proposed changes will lead to closer working relationships between OUCS, Business Services and Projects and the ICT Support Team, which should result in improved services for the user. As part of these developments, from 1 January 2011 OUCS will move into University Administration and Services (UAS) and the three central IT service providers will report to the Registrar.

Further information about our activities is available in our Five-year Strategic Plan which lists OUCS’s priorities for coming years. I would be pleased to receive comments on this Annual Report and the Five-year Strategic Plan, and hope that you will find both documents stimulating and informative.

Finally, I would like to thank OUCS staff who have brought their dedication and experience to bear on the services we provide; they continue to respond with initiative, enthusiasm and professionalism. The next twelve months will bring new challenges, with further governance changes and financial uncertainty, but I am confident that we have the expertise, skills and knowledge to continue to deliver excellent services and develop new facilities for the benefit of the collegiate University.

Professor Paul W. Jeffreys

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