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IWR Information Professional of the Year UKOLN is supported by: Digital Natives Run by Digital Immigrants: IT Services Are Dead – Long Live IT Services.

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Presentation on theme: "IWR Information Professional of the Year UKOLN is supported by: Digital Natives Run by Digital Immigrants: IT Services Are Dead – Long Live IT Services."— Presentation transcript:

1 IWR Information Professional of the Year UKOLN is supported by: Digital Natives Run by Digital Immigrants: IT Services Are Dead – Long Live IT Services 2.0! This work is licensed under a Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 licence (but note caveat) About This Talk What does the future hold for IT Services in a world in which ‘digital natives’ are no longer reliant on the services provided by central services (the ‘digital immigrants’)? “IT Services Are Dead” it could be argued. But IT Services have transformed themselves in the past, so maybe we should be saying “Long Live IT Services 2.0!” But how should IT Services respond to this transition? About This Talk What does the future hold for IT Services in a world in which ‘digital natives’ are no longer reliant on the services provided by central services (the ‘digital immigrants’)? “IT Services Are Dead” it could be argued. But IT Services have transformed themselves in the past, so maybe we should be saying “Long Live IT Services 2.0!” But how should IT Services respond to this transition? Brian Kelly, UKOLN, University of Bath, Bath, UK

2 2 About The Speaker Brian Kelly: Works at UKOLN – a national centre of expertise in digital information management, located at the University of Bath, UK UK Web Focus: a national Web advisory post Funded by JISC and MLA to support UK’s higher and further education & cultural heritage sectors Involved in the Web since January 1993 Currently active in promoting best practices for Web 2.0

3 3 My Previous UCISA Talks UCISA 2004 Conference Spoke at the UCISA 2004 conference on “What Can Internet Technologies Offer?” when I introduced a technologies now known as Web 2.0 UCISA 2006 Conference Invited back in 2006 to gave talk on “IT Services Help or Hindrance”. At the event I argued that IT Services needed to engage with Web 2.0, otherwise they might find themselves marginalised Positive response – e.g. follow-up event to IT Directors in the East Midlands showed a willingness to transform IT services

4 4 Today’s Talk … Great, I hear you thinking … But now, two years, on my views have developed: Rather than using the externally-hosted Web 2.0 services (Google Mail, Flickr, Slideshare, etc.) as a threat to encourage IT Services to change … I now feel they can be used to deliver services in our institutions

5 5 Today’s Talk … Is Crazy? Great, I hear you thinking … But now, two years, on my views have developed: Rather than using the externally-hosted Web 2.0 services (Google Mail, Flickr, Slideshare, etc.) as a threat to encourage IT Services to change … I now feel they can be used to deliver services in our institutions Don’t be daft – some of you may be saying: The services aren’t sustainable – they may go bankrupt tomorrow What about the levels of service, legal issues, data protection,... These are all legitimate issues to raise

6 6 Apply Risks Equally But let’s apply the risk assessment to the alternatives: What have the UMIST, AHDS, WebCT and Highwaycode.gov.uk Web sites in common?

7 7 Apply Risks Equally But let’s apply the risk assessment to the alternatives: What have the UMIST, AHDS, WebCT and Highwaycode.gov.uk Web sites in common? They have all been taken over or been merged with other organisations (or will be shortly) and services may have been scrapped or terms & conditions changed There are risks that public sector organisations, JISC-funded services, licensed software vendors, etc. may not be sustainable, may changes T&C, etc. Web 2.0 is nothing new.

8 8 Being User-Focussed The Dangers of Today’s IT Environment Institutions install / develop software locally – but users fail to use it Why? User Issues It’s not cool It’s different from the tools used socially and they can’t share resources with friends & family It’s not available after they leave the institution

9 9 Being User-Focussed The Dangers of Today’s IT Environment Institutions install / develop software locally – but users fail to use it Why? User Issues It’s not cool It’s different from the tools used socially and they can’t share resources with friends & family It’s not available after they leave the institution Why? Educational Issues Academics who want students to gain experiences of widely available tools Future employers who expect graduates to be familiar with tools available in the workplace New media literacy with students gaining an understanding of best practices for social networks

10 10 Benefits Of Scale There are issues concerning the costs of replicating services at an institutional level: Installing blog software in every institution Maintenance costs, developing support materials, etc. We could reduce costs by providing national services such as JISCMail But won’t the cost saving be greater for international services. Let’s look at a case study OU Case Study: Moodle manager spotted Slideshare was down one weekend & blogged about the risks. OU Web 2.0 developer tried to respond, but OU server was down. Note Slideshare was up before the OU’s server! OU Case Study: Moodle manager spotted Slideshare was down one weekend & blogged about the risks. OU Web 2.0 developer tried to respond, but OU server was down. Note Slideshare was up before the OU’s server!

11 11 IT Services 1.0 Are Dead! Summary: Initially we were sceptical about Google Now we all use it, we run training course on it and there’s an industry based on it. Web 2.0 won’t go away – but there will be some casualties – just as there will be with conventional software vendors and indeed public sector institutions, funding initiatives, etc. Future is blended environment for service delivery A need to develop approaches to risk assessment, risk management, data migration, new media literacy, etc. To conclude, IT Services 1.0. which only concerns itself with hosted systems is, dead

12 12 Long Live IT Services 2.0! What is the future for IT Services in a world in which our institutions will make use of externally-hosted services? Let’s reflect, for a moment, on the strengths of the UCISA community and UK HEIs: We’ve a well-established tradition of working collaboratively We’ve professional bodies (such as UCISA) and funding bodies (such as JISC) to support collaborative working Collaborative approaches are scalable because of the size of country and the numbers of institutions

13 13 Looking Overseas Christine Sexton, IT Services Director at Sheffield University has a blog. In one post she described her experiences of the Educause 2007 Conference: Christine is right – the US is too big, too diverse, to benefit from community activities which can help IT Services exploit the potential of the social and collaborative Web

14 14 A Tradition Of Collaboration In the late 1980s & early 1990s I was a member of ISG & IUIC One activity was establishment of a document sharing archive. It didn’t get off the ground – the technology was too hard then. In the late 1990s another attempt to set up a distributed archive with a centralised indexed tool failed, due to the complexities of managing the indexing software tlig/docs/docshare.htm tlig/docs/docshare.htm Broken since demise of Mailbase!

15 15 What I Spent 10 Minutes Doing List of IT Services docs still available (but not all the links work) I took working links & added to the Google Custom Search Engine I filled in a form, pressed save - and now we’ve got a usable service events/conferences/ucisa-2008/ events/conferences/ucisa-2008/ See blog post on “IT Services - Set Your Documentation Free!” and user’s response on “It was all Brian Kelly's fault” – “I can't stand the inadequate institutional search tools I've been forced to use for a decade” DEMO

16 16 What I Spent 10 Minutes Doing List of IT Services documentation still available Used links that worked & added to the Google Custom Search Engine, filled in a form, pressed save - now have a usable service The software isn’t open source, we can’t play with it, develop it,.. Should we be concerned? Is it a problem if the software just works and the users are happy?

17 17 How We Can Be More Effective IT Service departments in UK HEIs have an opportunity to: Build on the strengths of the community Exploit the potential of lightweight tools Make use of social network services to develop the IT Services communities of practices

18 18 How You Can Help Managers can help by providing a supportive framework & adopting policies on openness e.g.: Creative Commons licences for support materials e.g. documents, slides, podcasts, etc. Asking staff to justify local developments when other solutions are available Encouraging staff to participate in community activities e.g. contributing to a UCISA wiki on best practices – such as wiki started recently for the TLIG Communicating With Users event wetpaint.com/ wetpaint.com/

19 19 Conclusions To conclude: IT Services will need to transform themselves (yet again) If you don’t “the digital immigrants” will still use the stuff out there The “IT Services 2.0” concept summarises a transformation based on being collaborative and user-focussed IT Service managers have a role to play in this transformation

20 20 Conclusions To conclude: IT Services will need to transform themselves (yet again) If you don’t “the digital natives” will still use the stuff out there The “IT Services 2.0” concept summarises a transformation based on being collaborative and user-focussed IT Service managers have a role to play in this transformation And a proposed title for a talk from a IT Services manager for UCISA 2009 conference: “How I learned to stop worrying and love Web 2.0”


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