Information technology at UBC is widely decentralised. While most administrative departments have integrated their IT services under the management of the UBC IT department, most academic units manage their own IT teams locally. This structure suits the diversity of the academic enterprise and also brings with it a great diversity of technologies and technology management styles, as well as a wide distribution of IT knowledge, skills and experience. Yet there are as many common interests and objectives among the IT staff at UBC as there are specialisations and separations.
With over 600 IT professionals named at UBC, this institution benefits from a large pool of experts. Their commitment to the university is manifested in the long years of service of many of them. However, for individual members of this group it is often difficult to recognize and experience the whole, collaborate and mutually support each other, given the spread of line management arrangements, mandates and even geographical distribution.
In recent years several approaches have been taken at UBC to better integrate this family of IT professionals for the benefit of the institution as well as the that of its individual members. Technology solutions specifically designed for enterprise-wide use have been developed to benefit server, storage and desktop services. Tools for IT professionals such as ticket tracking and project methodology are being deployed. A shared career framework has been developed to offer individual IT professionals an opportunity to see themselves in the context of their collegiate at UBC. And a system-wide model for IT governance has been developed and is now in use to engage senior institutional leaders in guiding the development and support of critical components of our information technology.
While there are some forums to discuss the many shared challenges and opportunities of information technology among UBC’s IT professionals (such as the university-wide IT leadership group meetings), these are often hard to access regularly for everyone who is interested. The function of the Chief Information Officer has a mandate to work with the entire IT community at UBC to identify commonalities, find opportunities for sharing and to increase the level of dialogue among the IT professionals. This web site is intended as one means of fulfilling this mandate. It is designed as a central information hub for institution-wide aspects of our IT environment, such as governance and architecture. And it aims to serve as a discussion site through internal and external blog contributions. All members of the IT community at UBC are invited to join in and participate.