Saturday, 22 March 2014

Press Release: 3 star award for University IT department

Press Release: Monday 10 March 2014

3-star award for University IT department

The University of St Andrews has become the first university in the UK, and the second in the world, to be accredited with 3-star Service Desk Certification from The Service Desk Institute (SDI).

The 3-star rating was awarded following an eighteen month auditing programme by the SDI, Europe’s only support network for IT service desk professionals and leading authority on IT support issues, which noted a significant improvement in the scores each time.
During each audit, nine concept areas were measured covering all aspects of IT Services including leadership skills, policy and strategy, people management, partnerships and resources, people satisfaction, performance results and social responsibility.

The University of St Andrews IT Service Desk team logs between 4000 and 8000 incidents a month, offering support to the University’s 2000 staff and 8000 students, through a single point of contact.
On being awarded 3-star accreditation, Lorraine Brown, the University of St Andrews IT Service Desk Manager, said:

“IT is a fundamental part of every member of staff and every student’s day to day life at the University and we want everyone who uses our service to have a positive experience from the moment they arrive in St Andrews. We believe that our 3-star certification proves our commitment to offering a great service and we aim to use the programme to further aid the continuous development of our IT services.”

The Service Desk Institute’s audit evaluates service desk operations against an internationally accepted global standard for best practice, providing companies with a benchmark to form a baseline for service improvements.

Howard Kendall, SDI’s Master Auditor, who presented the 3-star award to the IT Services team, commented:
"After achieving 2* SDI certification in 2013, it is highly rewarding to see that the excellent strategy and leadership in place and SAITS is playing a major part progressing the service to a 3* customer-led level of maturity. Quality leadership, combined with a new location for the service desk, the appointment of a business relationship manager, the implementation on a carefully planned customer experience feedback programme and the on-going enthusiasm and high morale of staff is clearly bearing fruit. I’m delighted to see St Andrews embracing continuous service improvement and shall continue to follow them on their journey"

Issued by the Press Office, University of St Andrews
Contact Victoria Herd on 01334 462530

Monday, 3 March 2014

Enterprise Mobility and Mobile Device Management Event

I'm speaking later this month at the Enterprise Mobility and Mobile Device Management Event organised by Whitehall Media

My talk is entitled "User Experience: The Key to Successful Mobilisation".

I'm going to look at how Universities have delivered BYOD solutions for over a decade with mixed success. From experience, ease of integration with the wireless infrastructure, an identity management solution (to identify and register users) and establishing the correct security posture is key. Ultimately security should be the overriding factor - as any solution must not compromise an organisations security.

The user experience for academic and other university staff now can be a positive one with the ability to use a device of their choice and with true wireless "roaming" throughout the UK education sector and beyond using eduroam.

I will argue that BYOD is about developing an ecosystem which begins at the data centre and expands out from there. Protecting the organisational infrastructure is also critical however getting the balance here is crucial as stifling creativity and innovation is all to easy. Also by putting barriers in place to prevent specific actions or behaviours is a waste of time as people are creative enough to get around such barriers. For example, if you restrict access to certain categories of website many with either bring their own network (BYON!) or utilise free tools to tunnel traffic over http.

The other big change in moving and supporting a BYOD approach is to the support model. The traditional service desk approach is often no longer suitable in environments with high BYOD such as a University. You need to also cater for hardware repairs such as screen replacements, data restorations etc. The demand for accessible power is also a challenge. 

Making it clear what is and is not acceptable is also crucial and this should be embedded in easy to read guidance for all employees.