Four key areas
Our technology strategy will address four key areas over the next three years:
1. Application duplication, data silos and integration
The College currently has a proliferation of applications and data silos which has built up over the years. This approach can lead to costly technical debt, meaning investment in supporting old systems that are no longer fit for purpose. It can also mean unnecessary complexity for our day-to-day operations which could severely impact our ability to generate accurate and timely reporting.
- Enhance our ability to exchange information by building a modern integration platform.
- Deliver a new "Precision Education" model by delivering trust-worthy, curated data, and richer reporting and analytics services for a personalised approach in education.
- Address supplier management challenges and build good relationships with external suppliers
- Reduce duplications by removing 20% of application duplication by 2022.
2. Cyber Threat
The UK's NCSC (National Cyber Security Center) informed institutions of increased cyber-criminal activity, focusing on Higher Education with increased ransomware attacks and more specifically on research institutions where research data can be stolen or destroyed for competitive gain.
The move towards remote learning, teaching and research has made protecting the College more challenging, and ICT will work to enhance existing security services in response.
- Address cyber threat risk by introducing a new "Zero Trust" model which will provide greater protection for systems in the new world of remote teaching, learning and research. A zero-trust security model describes an approach to the design and implementation of IT Systems. The main concept behind zero trust is that devices should not be trusted by default, even if they are connected to a managed corporate network, and even if they were previously verified.
- Move towards a most modern enterprise environment, with a corporate networ that consists of many interconnected segments, cloud-based services and infrastructure, with connections to remote and mobile environments.
- Renew Cyber Essentials certification.
3. Identity and access management
Our existing identity and user management system was developed by the College 15 years ago and is now longer fit for purpose and requires investment. It accounts for more than 30% of our 1st Line support calls to the ICT service desk.
- Simplify the approach to user management.
- Replacing our existing custom-built service and replace it with an appropriate Commercial-of-the-shelf system.
- Reduce service desk ticket and support call requests for Identity Management enquires, i.e. login issues
4. Technical Debt
Following a recent technical debt review, we have uncovered a significant number of services nearing or beyond "end of support life", exposing the College to both platform service stability issues, but equally to increased security threats and vulnerabilities. Some of these platforms are fundamental to how the College exchanges information and data using integration technologies.
- Address ICT supported technical debt to improve service stability and supportability.
- Remove significant degrees of security risk.
- Reduce the technical debt cost through future strategic investment.