Tuesday, April 5, 2011

How the University of ADELAIDE manage their ICT - something to learn from them

ICT Principles
These ICT governance principles were agreed at a joint meeting of the University Information and Communications Technology Committee, the University Information and Communications Technology Architecture Committee, and the University Information and Communications Technology Investment Committee held on 16 June 2009. The principles constitute a reference model by which new ICT initiatives can be assessed for their alignment with the University's ICT ethos. Principles are a tool to help make more informed decisions - they are meant to guide rather than mandate.There is a set of over-arching ICT guiding principles that provide guidance on the key motivators that influence IT decision making together with more detailed sets of IT architecture and investment principles.

ICT Guiding Principles

The strategic direction of, and the decisions made by, the University Information and Communications Technology Committee on behalf of The University of Adelaide will be guided by the following principles. Information and Communications Technology (ICT) at the University of Adelaide will;

G1. Enable the University's core business - excellence in research and teaching. G2. Deliver a rich, engaged student and staff ICT experience. G3. Promote operational efficiency. G4. Ensure systems are robust and agile. G5. Ensure information and systems are secure. G6. Manage ICT as an investment.

ICT Investment Principles

The Investment Principles are necessarily aligned with the guiding principles but provide more guidance on investment.

I1. ICT investments must positively contribute to the achievement of the University's vision and goals as outlined in the Strategic Plan. I2. When considering potential ICT investments, the full life cycle costs and implications including licencing, infrastructure, skills and resources will be considered. I3. ICT investments will be assessed on the basis of the return on investment they offer. It is recognised that the potential returns are not just financial, and in some cases qualitative assessment of non-financial benefits will be required. I4. Individual ICT investments must demonstrate alignment with the overall University ICT strategy. I5. The potential business risks associated with ICT investments must be assessed and appropriate mitigation strategies identified prior to investment approval.

ICT Architecture Principles

The Architectural Principles are necessarily aligned with the guiding principles but are more focussed/detailed on Business, Application, Data and Technology architectures.
Business Architecture Principles

B1. The Enterprise Architecture is based on a design of services which mirror real-world activities which comprise the University business processes. B2. A partnership will be cultivated between the various Faculties and business units and ITS, in order to work together towards the attainment of the University's strategic goals. B3. IT investments will be aligned with the strategic goals through a planning and architecture process to implement appropriate enterprise solutions. Hence the architecture, (i.e., the business, information, application, and technology models and principles) will guide the design, implementation, and management of technology assets based on business needs. B4. Business processes and associated IT solutions will be sufficiently modularised and flexible, allowing greater agility and rapid implementation of changes to business rules and processes to facilitate emerging opportunities and evolving needs. B5. Business processes, data and supporting applications will have documented owners, who will be responsible for defining the associated business requirements (e.g., access, validation, maintenance, etc.)

Data Architecture Principles

D1. Information is a corporate asset which should be captured, stored and managed in a way that will allow appropriate levels of sharing across the enterprise. All primary data will be captured once only at the point of creation, and stored and managed to enable appropriate levels of sharing and access. D2. Timely, accurate and complete decision support information will be made available to authorised users through standard tools. D3. Applications will access data through defined interfaces (i.e., through data service brokers rather than directly at the data storage interface) using standard data base and file management facilities.

Application Architecture Principles

A1. When deciding on architectures to implement, the preference will be to leverage and reuse existing solutions, second to purchase new package solutions, and thirdly to build custom solutions. A2. Implementation of applications used across the enterprise is preferred over the implementation of duplicate or similar applications for particular groups. A3. Future applications will be delivered via the Intranet and Internet as web based applications, preferably deployed through key Portals. A4. Application programs, whether purchased or developed internally, will be architected to separate business rules from application logic and provide modular, reusable functionality. A5. Implementation of applications will be managed through defined roadmaps which cover the full application lifecycle.

Technology Architecture Principles T1. The University will be agile, proactive and innovative in its use of technology to provide services T2. Technological diversity is controlled based on a defined set of standards and policies to ensure that IT services are efficient, sustainable, robust and secure.