University of Sydney fast-tracks shared services

Procurement choices influenced by a shared services model that delivers campus-wide value and standardises the ICT platforms, says CIO, Mike Day.

The University of Sydney is rolling out more shared services in the New Year under moves to reduce duplication, deliver standardised ICT platforms, and derive better value for the user community.

Mike Day, CIO, told FST Government that a shared services model will commoditise services while delivering benefits to the user base. This move coincides with the consolidation of the university’s faculties from 16 to six.

“Previously, some faculties ran their own IT departments,” said Day. “The consolidation will see this replaced by shared services.”                                

Next year, more than 40 initiatives are in the pipeline. These include expressions of interest to build data management capability and access to hybrid cloud services for the university community.

Plans are underway to fully integrate mobile apps with the backbone infrastructure, while strengthening security for fixed and mobile networks.

The university’s annual revenue is over $2 billion. The ICT budget is made up of $90 million for opex and $35 million on capex across a complex environment spanning various campuses and collaborating with international and industry partners.

The future focus is on rolling refreshes rather bulk replacements. “This ensures a strategy of continuous improvement and allows us to adapt to emerging technologies.”

Each day, nearly 100,000 devices are connected to the university’s Wi-Fi network, spanning 800 different applications which service the needs of 57,000 local and overseas students, the extensive research community, 7,000 staff and nearly 10,000 affiliates.

More than 20,000 fixed and mobile devices have been assigned to students, researchers and staff. This inventory is complemented by 80,000 bring-your-own devices owned by students.

“We’re taking a mobile-first mind-set,” said Day. “We want to build simplicity and elegance of design in the technologies we provide to our user community. Our focus is to take advantage of the opportunities to innovate and stay nimble around digital disruption.”

A connected campus signals the internet of things where thousands of devices hang from the network. Technologies of choice incorporate virtual and augmented reality, together with adaptive learning and analytics tools.

The Sydney technology and digital environment goes beyond supporting the gaining of a degree, added Day. The university technology platforms support collaboration and life-long learning.

Upcoming FST Government 2017 events

  • FST Gov Qld Brisbane - 16th March 2017
  • FST Gov SA Adelaide - 30th March 2017
  • FST Gov NSW Sydney - 17th May 2017





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