IT-related procedures and Role of Dep Reps
All College departments have nominated members of staff to act as departmental representatives to ICT. These contacts support issues that arise through your use of College IT systems and infrastructure. Departmental representatives are not employed by IC, nor do they necessarily have deep technical knowledge of IT systems and technologies. Rather, they act as a point of contact to liaise with ICT when issues don’t get satisfactorily resolved, or to participate in College IT committees as representatives of the department for the strategic development of IT infrastructure in support or research, teaching or administration.
There are some special circumstances where ICT reps need to take action on behalf of staff colleagues, but in most other cases IT queries and requests should be initiated directly with ICT by the member of staff who needs some kind of service (ICT Service Desk Webpage, email: firstname.lastname@example.org, phone: +44 (0)20 7594 9000 or, x49000 from a College telephone).
A ‘service’ includes
- obtaining a new/replacement PC or other type of computing hardware or peripheral device,
- procuring proprietary software for research and sometimes teaching purposes,
- accessing network resources,
- logging-onto the IC system,
- remote access,
- setting up mobile devices,
- user account security, etc.
(note that this list is not exhaustive, for a full list of ICT services please visit their main webpage)
Essentially, ALL IT issues should first be logged with the ICT service desk (ICT Service Desk Webpage, email: email@example.com, phone: +44 (0)20 7594 9000 or, x49000 from a College telephone). The best form of contact is to send an email to the service desk who will then route the request to the appropriate specialist support or project team for action (responses to these emails are usually fairly quick). They will then contact you directly and work with you to resolve the issue.
Student user account extensions
Student user account extensions at the end of their enrolment/studies
- Sometimes MSc and/or PhD students who have completed their studies may wish to continue work on their research projects, with their supervisors, with the goal of submitting a paper(s) to a peer-reviewed journal. In these cases students and their supervisors need to organise some form of formal research relationship with the department so that the student’s ICT user account can continue to provide access to College computing resources. This is because all College user accounts are subject to College’ status, which means that user accounts cannot be extended without a formal relationship between the researcher and the College being put into place. It is better that this action is pre-emptive!
- For MSc students, normal user accounts are discontinued at the end of their registered period with the College (end of the academic year) and are replaced with an alumni account (that they need to activate) that gives them access to library and careers resources, but not access to other computing resources such as the software hub. Therefore if a student wishes to continue to access software provided by the hub, it is essential that their supervisor takes the necessary steps to establish a research relationship as mentioned above before the end of their period of enrolment with the College.
Staff user account extensions
Sometimes members of staff need to obtain or change an ICT user account extension, particularly where there is a need to extend research contracts or to change employment status to reflect new roles, responsibilities, or functions within the department. This can impact on the use of ICT systems so that individuals can access the requisite IT resources needed for their work.
It should be noted though that all College user accounts are consequential to employment status at the College, meaning that user accounts will automatically be set/provided following the processing of employees’ status changes via the usual HR routes and procedures. I.e. it is not something that departmental ICT reps have the ability to change.
Therefore, if it becomes clear that a member of staff needs to extend their user account, or obtain access to college systems due to planned changes in their employment, it is of paramount importance that the necessary HR procedures are initiated and processed asap to facilitate that change. Only after this has happened will the user’s ICT account be updated or created by ICT as part of that process.
Hardware and software procurement
- Any new IT hardware or software requirements need to be approved by an authorised budget holder. Firstly the requester (i.e. the person that needs the service) needs to research and identify the piece of hardware or software that is needed, obtain a quotation from a College-approved supplier and then seek budgetary approval for the expense before raising a Purchase Order on the ICIS system. This is the same procedure as for any new procurement from suppliers - such as furniture, stationary etc. Once the request has been approved by the budget holder and the PO has subsequently been raised and approved, the order will be processed to the supplier for delivery of the service at an appropriate time. New/replacement PCs and peripherals can be researched on the ICIS iProcurement web portal, and details for logging into ICIS can be found here. Note that the College’s preferred supplier for MS Windows-based machines is HP and on their iProcurement webpage portal new machines can be configured as per the user’s required spec’, and quotations can be generated based on saved specifications. Old machines due for replacement under the College’s desktop replacement scheme will be configured with standard hardware specifications and College software build.
- For students (PhD or MSc) who may require specialist software or hardware as part of their research work, this should be discussed with their respective supervisors as early as possible and then the supervisor should follow the above process for procuring necessary software or hardware, in advance of the work starting. A judgement needs to be made as to the appropriate budget that should be used to fund the purchase. This may be self-evident, when it is part of a dedicated research activity with an associated budget, but when there is uncertainty, the decision should be made in consultation with the departmental finance officer or other senior department staff member with responsibility for budgetary control.
Occasionally a request needs to be approved by the ICT departmental representative. This happens after the service job request or procurement process has been initiated by the user, and the departmental representative is contacted directly by ICT via email to approve the requested action. For CEP, the departmental representative is Dr Martin Head, and in his absence support may be obtained by contacting Dr Iain Staffell.
Once a service job has been raised, users are able to monitor the progress of their request by logging onto their ICT Ask account. Login details can be found on this webpage.
Please follow the above procedures for all hardware-related are software-related IT-services so that requests are routed to the correct support team/person, saving time and avoiding, on occasions, worry!