Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Cloud Computing in Higher Education

There has been significant and increasing interest in the use of Cloud Computing as an alternative approach to delivering ICT services in Higher Education. As a keen supporter of such an approach I'm currently undertaking some research around the legal and organisational impact of such an approach as this can be considerable and have wide ranging implications.

Already at the University we have transferred a number of our systems to public, private and hybrid cloud solutions and will continue to do so where its the most appropriate solution. I contributed last year to a JISC funded project which looked at the organisational and environmental impact of cloud computing in higher education which is well worth a read if your interested in this area.

ICT Energy Efficiency

Building a data centre in a conservation area!
Inside our data cenre
Around 30% of the electricity consumed by the University of St Andrews is used to power ICT equipment, much of which is powered 24 hours a day every day. With energy costs continuing to rise and our commitment to becoming carbon neutral by 2016 we face a real challenge. Our initial efforts focussed on reducing the number of locations which house servers and storage by constructing a very energy efficient data centre. We continue to consolidate equipment and locations and are starting to enhance our efforts to reduce our ICT energy demands. Over the next year we will seek to optimise our data centre configuration to reduce our environmental impact further. I am very interested in pursuing the BCS CEEDA accreditation and will discuss this further soon.

These efforts are merely a starting point and we can all do more to reduce energy usage.

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Raspberry Pi

Interesting article.

This project was created to get children involved and interested in computer science.  I totally agree with what Dr Robinson from Manchester University says here: 
 "Children are experts in time management... You've got 10 seconds to get them to say 'wow'. Longer than that, and you may have lost them.  Once you've got their interest, you can get them to do more."

I'm sure many of us can relate to this!

Friday, 6 July 2012

Bletchley Park & The National Museum of Computing

Earlier this week I was fortunate enough to visit Bletchley Park in Milton Keynes. Home to the WWII codebreakers and also the National Museum of Computing.  It was Britain's main decryption establishment during World War Two. Ciphers and codes of several countries were decrypted including, most importantly, those generated by the German Enigma and Lorenz machines. A truly fascinating place with an amazing history. The guided tour lasted around 1.5 hours and the tour guide was very informative and entertaining!

The National Museum of Computing is also excellent (worryingly much of the equipment on display I remember from my childhood!!). The site is often referred to as the "birthplace of the modern computer" and certainly worth visiting if you work or have an interest in IT.

Sunday, 1 July 2012


Thanks for visiting. Here I will regularly share my own personal views, thoughts and other related information about IT and some of the emerging technology areas which will influence ICT and business strategy. Every large organisation is unique however one common factor is that Information Technology is key and touches every business process in one way or another. With nearly 20 years experience in a wide variety of IT roles I hope you will find this blog interesting !

Steve Watt