For further information about CAUDIT see
THE CAUDIT BENCHMARKING PROJECT
CAUDIT has established a benchmarking project with the following objectives.
Establish and maintain a core data set of institutional and IT characteristics;
Establish and maintain a set of common definitions and quantitative characteristics
for core IT services in member institutions;
Continuously review and refine the core data set, service definitions and indicators;
Undertake analysis of the data collected as required by the CAUDIT Executive;
Publish results on the CAUDIT web site.
The project is coordinated through the CAUDIT Standing Committee on IT
Benchmarking which has as its responsibilities to:
Develop and evolve IT benchmarks and service definitions
Collect benchmarking data annually and publish on the web site;
Review data for accuracy and consistency across institutions and over time;
Manage any analysis of the data collected required by CAUDIT;
Monitor international trends in IT benchmarking.
A CAUDIT Standing Committee coordinates the Benchmarking Project. The
membership of the Standing Committee is
Mr Alan McMeekin (Monash University) Chair
Mr Jeff Murray (Edith Cowan University) Deputy Chair
Mr Neil Thelander (Queensland University of Technology)
Mr Geoff Dengate (Griffith University)
Mr Richard Tan (Deakin University)
The project is supported by Mr Peter Nissen (CAUDIT Executive Officer Projects)
and Mr John Lockwood (Project Officer).
CAUDIT is aware that the collection of data from universities needs to be managed
carefully and sensitively and has developed an acceptable use policy in relation to
the Benchmarking Project.
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The policy is reproduced below. All university staff associated with the collection,
coordination and dissemination of information relating to this project are required to
adhere to this policy.
FOCUS OF THE PROJECT
The emphasis in the Benchmarking Project is on university-wide IT services and the
associated data. Ultimately, universities will wish to compare their institutional IT
services against other institutions and this requires a “whole of institution”
perspective. The survey data is, however, collected through the “central”
Information Technology Unit of the university. This will present some difficulties in
access to data as it is appreciated that the arrangement and responsibilities for
these services will change between universities. The survey instruments will be
designed to capture the manner in which institutions deliver their IT services. Some
measures will be sought to show the degree of decentralisation for each of the
The CAUDIT Benchmarking Project will consist of a series of surveys relating to
particular services in the IT area. The first three surveys will be completed in early
2004 and will be:
• IT Support for Staff and Students
• Data Network Service
• Educational Technology Services in Teaching Spaces
Other services will be completed during 2004 and it is anticipated that when the
portfolio of services is completed universities will be able to update their responses
in an ongoing manner.
Many CAUDIT members have begun to use the ITIL framework. The CAUDIT
Benchmarking Project uses terminology and concepts consistent with the ITIL
Further information about ITIL can be found at:
The CAUDIT Benchmarking Project complements the EDUCAUSE Core Data
Survey (CDS) which is conducted by the USA organisation EDUCAUSE. Most
CAUDIT members are members of EDUCAUSE and have completed the CDS. The
CDS is a top-down survey and permits comparison of IT characteristics at a broad
level with many overseas universities. Approximately 700 institutions participate in
the EDUCAUSE Core Data Survey.
More information about EDUCAUSE can be found at
More information about the EDUCAUSE Core Data Survey can be found at
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Institutions participating in the EDUCAUSE Core Data Survey have been given
permission to access summary data collected. Directors of Information Technology
in the participating institutions can provide more information concerning access to
CAUDIT IT Benchmarking Data Appropriate Use Policy
CAUDIT has established an IT Benchmarking Committee which is responsible for
the development and refinement of a set of IT service definitions and benchmarking
indicators for the comparison of the efficiency and effectiveness of IT strategies and
service delivery within the higher education sector spanned by its members.
CAUDIT members have indicated that to be useful to enable peer comparisons, the
data needs to be identified by a number of institutional characteristics (e.g. Go8,
ATN, regional, single or multi-campus, central or devolved IT management etc.) as
sector wide aggregate data will not provide the benchmarking information needed for
planning and decision making.
CAUDIT members have also sought to be able to understand the cost drivers and
the relationship between service costs and service quality and to be able to
demonstrate value for money. Hence some of the most sought-after data relates to
financial expenditures, budgets and staffing levels, which some members may
Thus it is critical that CAUDIT members understand the purpose for which the IT
benchmarking data is being collected and will be made available.
Access to the CAUDIT benchmarking data or a segment of the data will be restricted
to CAUDIT members who have participated fully in the benchmarking activity or
segment of activity. Note that partial completion of a survey will not be regarded as
having participated fully.
Each CAUDIT member who accesses the IT benchmarking data agrees to abide by
this appropriate use policy as follows.
Once benchmarking data is provided to CAUDIT either by entry into a database via
an online form or the transmission to CAUDIT of a completed electronic or hard-copy
form, they become part of a collection of data that is copyrighted by CAUDIT.
CAUDIT claims copyright to the IT benchmarking data for the express purpose of
protecting the confidentiality of the data, not for commercial gain. The CAUDIT
member however retains unrestricted rights to their institution’s data.
The un-aggregated data (i.e. the data supplied by an individual CAUDIT member)
may not be copied or republished in any form; they may not be incorporated into
public documents; they may not be quoted in presentations; and they may not be
included in dissertations or other research reports.
A member institution must approve the use of its un-aggregated data by any other
member for each specific purpose. Any such data must be used for internal
purposes only and must be accompanied by a statement of confidentiality that
advises users of the report not to disseminate the report further. Such reports are to
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be used only by the planning group for which they were developed and especially
are not to be distributed beyond the CAUDIT member’s institution.
Unidentified, aggregated data from the CAUDIT IT benchmarking database (usually
when more than five institutions have reported data for a particular data point) or
aggregated data from CAUDIT summary reports may be reported with the
CAUDIT members with partnerships with corporations or relationships with other
entities (such as research projects or firms, government departments, journalists and
other elements of the media) may not provide the CAUDIT IT benchmarking data to
these partners or entities.
Access to the CAUDIT IT benchmarking data will be contingent upon acceptance of
the above appropriate use policy. Any CAUDIT member or their institution found in
violation of this restriction will be penalized by loss of participation privileges in future
CAUDIT surveys and immediate loss of access to the CAUDIT IT benchmarking
Any queries concerning the project (particularly specific details related to the
completion of the survey instruments) should be directed to:
The Project Officer CAUDIT Benchmarking Project
46 Kirrawee Drive
Phone: 08 82511149
Fax: 08 82515723
1. BACKGROUND INFORMATION
This section provides important contact information if there is any clarification
required concerning an institutional response and ensures that the Director:
Information Technology endorses the response on behalf of the university.
2. NAME OF SERVICE
IT SUPPORT FOR STAFF AND STUDENTS
This is the formal name given to this service component of the Benchmarking
Project. There may be some circumstances where a Central IT Unit has little or no
responsibility within an institution for staff or student IT support. This can be
identified in later sections of the survey instrument.
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3. SERVICE DEFINITION
This is a broad definition of the service covered in this survey instrument. In general
terms, this service relates to the activities of the Central IT Unit of the university in
the direct support of users. The Help Desk (or Service Desk) and associated
systems will be a key component of this response.
If you wish to make some comments on this definition in relation to your institution,
please add your comments in this section of the survey response.
Some institutions have a formal statement (eg a catalogue of services) which would
help clarify their response. If this is publicly available on the Internet please provide
a URL in this comments section. If the catalogue of services is available as an
electronic please email the document to John Lockwood.
Please do not use this comment area as a substitute for answering subsequent
4. END USERS
This section provides a breakdown of the categories of staff and students to whom the
Central IT Unit of the university provides services.
4.1. This category would include full-time undergraduate students, part-time
undergraduate students and mixed-mode undergraduate students (ie students
doing some study externally and some on-campus).
4.2. This category would include full-time postgraduate students, part-time postgraduate
students and mixed-mode postgraduate students (ie students doing some study
externally and some on-campus).
4.3. This category includes all undergraduate and postgraduate students who study
totally externally on campuses located in the university’s “home” country.
4.4. This category includes all undergraduate and postgraduate students who study
overseas and who generally do not attend campuses or sites located in Australia.
4.5. This category includes staff on all campuses and sites. A site is a physical
presence for staff but which may not be warranted the title of campus.
4.6. This category includes staff who are not employees of the university but who may
work in close association with the university and are supported by the Central IT
4.7. This category includes students who are not part of the DEST student headcount
but with whom the university has arrangements to use university facilities.
4.8. Other – use this if you consider that there are categories of users not described by
the previous 7 categories.
If you left the checkmark against ”Other” please use the comments field to describe
the users being covered by “Other”.
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If there are situations where the categories above only include some of the users in
your university, leave the checkmark in the column but give an explanation in the
5. SCOPE OF SERVICE
This section obtains information concerning the scope of the service offered.
This section will use the following definitions of Level of Service.
Level 0 This involves the user obtaining support through a service not involving
direct contact with IT help desk or IT Support staff and would normally
involve the user going directly to a Frequently Asked Questions site
maintained by the Central IT Unit or using a Knowledge Base
maintained by the central IT unit.
Level 1 This involves the user obtaining support through a first point of contact
with a Help Desk (or Service Desk). This would normally be through
telephone or email to a group of staff assigned to deal with initial
requests from users for support..
Level 2 This would involve the incident being escalated to other on-site staff
who are normally associated with client support but who are not part of
the direct Help Desk (or Service Desk) staffing.
Level 3 This would involve the incident being escalated to other staff or
services where specialist support from infrastructure staff or external
resources are required.
5.1. This category would apply if, through the Help Desk, the Central IT Unit provided
resources for resolution of all incidents reported to the Help Desk. The answer here
should be “Yes” whether SLAs (Service Level Agreements) or other forms of
contracts with users are in place or not.
5.2. This category would apply where the Central IT Unit provided first level support
through a Help Desk or Service Desk.
5.3. This category would apply where there was an arrangement whereby users or
support staff in a decentralized area were able to contact the Central IT Unit with
problems not able to be resolved within their own support framework or where the
incident was likely to be associated with services provided by the central IT unit.
5.4. This category would apply where the Central IT Unit provided support through
remote tools to the user desktop computer.
5.5. This category would apply where the Central IT Unit provided account management
support to users. Please make a comment below if the number of users to which
the Central IT Unit provides this service is less than 75% of the users in the
5.6. This category would only apply if there was a significant amount of end user
documentation provided through the web or direct hard copy. This refers to
structured user guides not FAQs or a Knowledge Base.
5.7. This category would apply where the Central IT Unit played a significant role in
providing information about IT orientation to staff and student users.
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5.8. This category would apply if the Central IT Unit was proactive in informing users
about planned IT service outages and their restoration either from planned or non-
5.9. This category would apply if the Central IT Unit was responsible for overall
management (logging, resolving at first level, delegation, tracking, reporting) of
incidents relating to IT services.
5.10.This category would apply where the Central IT Unit provided resources for the
management of non-specialist computing laboratories for students. Non-specialist
computing laboratories are those which are accessed by students from any
discipline and would normally provide for email and Internet access as well as
access to desktop productivity tools and information resources of value to a wide
range of students
5.11.This category would apply where the Central IT Unit is responsible for the
administration of systems which manage the charging of students for IT activities
and could include charging for printing services, disk space usage or Internet
5.12.This category would apply where the Central IT Unit was responsible for the
provision and support of software and hardware related to specific academic
applications. This might include software for engineering, medicine, statistics, and
equipment control. If the answer is “yes” please list the major support items in the
Comments field below.
5.13.This category would apply where there are formal (ie documented and signed)
SLAs with at least one group associated with the university. If the answer is “Yes”
provide the number of such agreements in 5.13b.
6. SERVICE EXCLUSIONS
7. ENVIRONMENTAL & TECHNICAL CHARACTERISTICS
7.1. This question applies to the central IT Help Desk (or Service Desk)
7.2. This question applies to the central IT Help Desk (or Service Desk)
7.3. This question relates to the use of tools by the Central IT Unit to monitor the
availability and performance of user desktop machines.
7.4. This question relates to the use of tools by the Central IT Unit to manage the
configuration of user desktop machines. This might include the downloading of
operating systems, applications or security software.
7.5. A Self-help Knowledge Database could be considered Level 0 support and users
would normally go there (or to FAQs) before contacting the Help Desk (or Service
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7.6. Only answer “Yes” here if the CBT is supported by the central IT unit. If there is
significant CBT activity supporting the Central IT Unit but being supplied by another
unit of the university please provide information in the Comments area below.
7.7. Provide the commercial name of the Help Desk (or Service Desk) software which is
currently being used by the central IT unit.
7.8. Some universities now have one point of call for all customer contact. Others may
have some services under the one system (eg Library, IT, Learning Support).
Answer “Yes” if the central IT Help Desk is part of a wider system.
7.9. Answer “Yes” if there is some form of survey conducted relating to help Desk calls
received by the Central IT Unit.
7.10.Answer “Yes” if there is some form of survey conducted relating to user satisfaction
with Central IT services either as part of a wider university survey or as a survey
solely related to IT.
8. QUANTITATIVE CHARACTERISTICS
8.1. User Computing Equipment
a. This would cover those desktop computers for staff and students and
any other users associated with the university for which the Central IT
Unit is required to provide level 1 support. Desktop computers will
include Wintel machines, Macintosh machines and UNIX machines.
Servers are not to be included here.
b. Include any notebooks on or off-campus or those that travel with the
user and for which the Central IT Unit is required to provide level 1
c. Include any PDAs or Pocket PCs that are integrated with the university
IT environment and for which the Central IT Unit is required to provide
level 1 support.
d. This would cover those desktop computers for staff and students and
any other users associated with the university for which level 1 support
is provided by resources outside the Central IT Unit. Desktop
computers will include Wintel machines, Macintosh machines and
UNIX machines. Servers are not to be included here.
e. Include any notebooks on or off-campus or those that travel with the
user and for which level 1 support is provided by resources outside the
Central IT Unit.
f. Include any PDAs or Pocket PCs that are integrated with the university
IT environment and for which level 1 support is provided by resources
outside the Central IT Unit.
g. This would be based on students, staff and others who have a
registration to use one or more university computers or systems
irrespective of how they are supported.
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The ITIL definition of incidents and their classification will be used.
An Incident is any event which is not part of the standard operation of a service and which
causes, or may cause, an interruption to, or a reduction in the quality of service.
A Problem is the underlying cause of one or more incidents. It will become a Known Error
when the root cause is known and a temporary workaround or permanent alternative has
A call to a Help Desk (or Service Desk) from a user is referred to as an
incident. Help Desk (or Service Desk staff) will attempt to resolve an incident
(ie Level 1 activity) but it may be escalated and this may lead to the incident
being resolved (Level 2 , Level 3) or it may lead to the identification of a
problem. Normally, Level 2 and Level 3 support staff are dealing with
a. Increasingly organisations are using FAQs or Knowledge Databases
for users and this is relieving the number of incident calls to the Help
Desk environment. It is appreciated that some universities may not
provide FAQs or Knowledge Databases for users. They should enter 0
as the number of accesses and circle 5 in the confidence column.
Some universities may provide FAQs or Knowledge Databases for
users but not have good information concerning access. They should
enter an estimate and use a confidence rating of 1, 2, 3 or 4.
b. This refers to the number of incidents per annum recorded at the
Central IT Help Desk. This figure might normally be calculated by
using the number of telephone calls and emails to the Central IT Help
c. ITIL defines a catastrophic incident as a failure that results in the total
inability to perform normal operation of any significant business
function in the university. Examples might be
• the failure in the university’s external Internet gateway;
• the failure of staff authentication server;
• the failure of dial-up services;
• the inability of staff to restore, in a reasonable time, a backup
of the Library catalogue database after an electrical failure.
d. ITIL defines a critical incident as a fault that severely restricts the use
of an application, system or piece of equipment affecting business
functions of the university
e. ITIL defines a major incident as one which impacts a group of users
where the restriction is not critical to the overall operation of the
f. ITIL defines a minor incident as one which impacts only one person
and where the function unable to be performed is not critical to the
operation of the university.
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g. Most simply this would be the percentage of incidents resolved by level
1 support. It would not normally include those incidents where there
was resolution through FAQs or a Knowledge Database. If these
figures are known they should be included in the overall figure,
h. This will include all levels of support. In ITIL terminology this would be
arrived at by using the number of incidents closed as a percentage of
all incidents recorded.
i. This will include incidents which were escalated under formal
maintenance agreements or through informal contacts with other
organisations (eg other universities).
8.3. Help Desk (Service Desk) Outsourcing
a. Outsourcing of the Help Desk means a contractual arrangement with
an organisation external to the university to provide all or part of the
Help Desk services. If a Help Desk service is shared with another
university answer YES. If a Help Desk Service is provided by the
university for part of the time and by an external organisation for other
times (eg outside “normal” hours) answer YES.
b. Calculate the percentage using the proportion of expenditure of the
total Help Desk costs committed to outsourcing.
a. This refers to physical Help Desks ie different locations with separate
staff. If the Central IT Help Desk function is totally outsourced leave
b. This refers to Help Desks providing IT support but managed by other
organisational units in the university. If all other Help Desk functions in
the university are outsourced leave blank.
8.5. Staffing associated with IT Services
All staffing figures should be expressed as EFTSU and would not normally
include staff who are not employees of the university.
a. This would include all staff (professional and general) designated as
part of the Central IT Unit.
b. This would include those staff in the Central IT Unit likely to be
involved in Level 1, 2 or 3 support for users.
c. This would include those staff in the Central IT Unit likely to be
involved in Level 1 support for users.
d. This would include those staff not in the Central IT Unit but likely to be
involved in Level 1 support for users through Help Desks managed by
other organisational units.
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8.6. Help Desk Availability
The Help Desk function is deemed to be provided if a user can expect to
reach a Help Desk staff member by phone. If calls to a Help Desk are
monitored by a designated staff member who assesses the severity of the
incident then the Help Desk function is not deemed to be provided for the
purposes of this survey. If your university does have some “after hours”
arrangements for support but it is not a full Help Desk service (ie partial
support or monitoring for a particular incident level) make a brief note in
the Comments section.
a. The maximum response here is 50.
b. The maximum response here is 56.
c. No data is collected for Public Holidays – Weekend Hours will be used
as an equivalent measure. The maximum response here is 62.
8.7. Annual Costs
Give the figure in dollars (no more accurate than to nearest $1,000). If the
total Help Desk function is outsourced enter 0 for these three questions as
total costs will have been included in question 8.3c. If the Help Desk is
partly outsourced include the internal component in answering questions
8.7a, 8.7b and 8.7c.
a. These costs should include the total salaries and on-costs (as
calculated in your university) for those staff covered in question 8.5c, ie
those directly involved in Level 1 support. Include an estimate for
partial after-hours support of the Help Desk if appropriate.
b. This should include those costs required annually to ensure that the
Help Desk operates. Include maintenance costs associated with Help
Desk software and staff training.
c. Include any equipment (eg PCs, peripherals, non-standard phone
equipment or Help Desk application system purchases) amortized over
three years. Where the three year data is not available, include the
most recent annual cost available and reflect this in the confidence
d. Give the cost in dollars and include all costs associated with any
outsourcing arrangement associated with the Help Desk (see question
8.3b) including an estimate of any internal staffing overheads
associated with the outsourcing eg contract negotiations and
7. DEGREE OF CENTRALIZATION
Questions 9.1 and 9.2 are aimed at providing a measure of the degree of
centralisation in relation to this service.
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