If Centralising HEI ICT Support is the Answer, What is the Question? Rob Procter [email_address] JISC Future of Research
Overview <ul><li>Broader context and its impact on HEI ICT support strategy: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>rapid innovation, compl...
Context I <ul><li>Rapid research methods and ICT innovation: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Researchers want to explore new service...
JISC Future of Research 19 October 2010 Resource discovery Analysis Scholarly communications ?
Context II <ul><li>Researchers need to collaborate across HEI boundaries: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>ICT support must develop s...
Evidence Base <ul><li>eUptake: JISC-funded investigation of barriers and enablers for e-Infrastructure: </li></ul><ul><ul>...
Issues I <ul><li>Researchers don’t trust HEI ICT support to deliver innovative services: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ HEIs put ...
Issues II <ul><li>Researchers consider HEI ICT support too remote: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Maybe now [IT support] need to ...
Issues III <ul><li>Researchers too often unaware of how HEI ICT support can help: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ The big problem ...
Issues IV <ul><li>Research practices reflect influence of local environment: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Instead of producing ...
User Relations <ul><li>HEI ICT support does not enjoy positive reputation among researchers: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>invisib...
Conclusions <ul><li>HEIs should collaborate with one another and with national services to share expertise, define best pr...
Thanks to <ul><li>MeRC: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Marzieh Asgari-Targhi, Peter Halfpenny, Alex Voss. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Ne...
Useful Links <ul><li>Community Engagement Projects Portal: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>http://www.engage.ac.uk/ </li></ul></ul><...
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If Centralising HEI IT Support is the Answer, What is the Question?

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Presented by Rob Procter at the JISC Future of Research Conference, 19th October 2010

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  • eUptake 50 interviews with researchers drawn from across main disciplines 50 interviews with ‘intermediaries’ in HEI IT services: at least 2 interviewees per institution: one at strategic level one with direct user support role RIN 50 interviews with researchers drawn from across main disciplines both adopters and non-adopters
  • If Centralising HEI IT Support is the Answer, What is the Question?

    1. 1. If Centralising HEI ICT Support is the Answer, What is the Question? Rob Procter [email_address] JISC Future of Research
    2. 2. Overview <ul><li>Broader context and its impact on HEI ICT support strategy: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>rapid innovation, complex picture of service provision </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Challenges faced by HEI ICT support: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>how organisations manage ICT-based innovation and role of users </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Need for balance between centralised and devolved HEI ICT support: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>but, there is no ‘one size fits all’ solution </li></ul></ul>JISC Future of Research
    3. 3. Context I <ul><li>Rapid research methods and ICT innovation: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Researchers want to explore new services </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Research challenges call for scalable ICT support: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>compute, data hosting, services in the ‘cloud’ </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Emergent ecology of ICT services: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>new providers offering e.g. compute, data storage, publishing.., more cost-effectively? </li></ul></ul>JISC Future of Research
    4. 4. JISC Future of Research 19 October 2010 Resource discovery Analysis Scholarly communications ?
    5. 5. Context II <ul><li>Researchers need to collaborate across HEI boundaries: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>ICT support must develop strategies for VO management </li></ul></ul><ul><li>In an collaborative world, ICT support is only as good as its weakest link: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ We use Access Grid only with those that we know there is a very good support, so it’s wonderful for our collaboration with […] and […], but all of those centres have very good support.” </li></ul></ul>JISC Future of Research
    6. 6. Evidence Base <ul><li>eUptake: JISC-funded investigation of barriers and enablers for e-Infrastructure: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>100 interviews with researchers and IT support staff </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Web 2.0: RIN-funded investigation of use of Web 2.0 in scholarly communication: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>50+ interviews with researchers </li></ul></ul><ul><li>MaDAM: JISC-funded pilot research data management service. </li></ul>JISC Future of Research
    7. 7. Issues I <ul><li>Researchers don’t trust HEI ICT support to deliver innovative services: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ HEIs put lot of effort into supporting innovations in teaching, but little effort into supporting innovations in research.” (Researcher) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ The blog system is being run by people who we see as not technically competent enough to do it reliably.” (Researcher) </li></ul></ul>JISC Future of Research
    8. 8. Issues II <ul><li>Researchers consider HEI ICT support too remote: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Maybe now [IT support] need to get back and think about helping people with what it is they want to use computers for.” (Researcher) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ There is a need for more people to sit down with scientists and work with them on their specific applications […] people that understand both applications and also understand how to make them work”. (Researcher) </li></ul></ul>JISC Future of Research
    9. 9. Issues III <ul><li>Researchers too often unaware of how HEI ICT support can help: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ The big problem we face is people write their proposals, run into problems, come to us, but in their proposal [nothing] was mentioned about computing or visualisation.” (IT Support) </li></ul></ul>JISC Future of Research
    10. 10. Issues IV <ul><li>Research practices reflect influence of local environment: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Instead of producing a generic infrastructure and imposing it top-down, it makes sense to follow a bottom-up, phased roll-out, with researchers buying into an infrastructure that evolves over time.” (MaDAM project report, 2010) </li></ul></ul>JISC Future of Research
    11. 11. User Relations <ul><li>HEI ICT support does not enjoy positive reputation among researchers: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>invisibility of infrastructure – only becomes noticed when it stops working </li></ul></ul><ul><li>HEI ICT support and researchers lack ‘common ground’: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>new ways to work together, e.g. embedding ICT staff in research teams </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Centralised HEI ICT support will stifle innovation: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>needs to become more local, not less </li></ul></ul>JISC Future of Research
    12. 12. Conclusions <ul><li>HEIs should collaborate with one another and with national services to share expertise, define best practice: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>services must be fit for purpose and accessible </li></ul></ul><ul><li>HEIs should devise practices, rewards and career structures to encourage development of ‘hybrids’: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>who understand what researchers want and what ICTs can do </li></ul></ul><ul><li>HEIs should not follow an over-centralised model of ICT support: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>agility and responsiveness to user needs is more important </li></ul></ul><ul><li>HEI ICT support’s advantage over other providers is that it is local : </li></ul><ul><ul><li>it would be a mistake to sacrifice that in the name of efficiency </li></ul></ul>JISC Future of Research
    13. 13. Thanks to <ul><li>MeRC: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Marzieh Asgari-Targhi, Peter Halfpenny, Alex Voss. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>NeSC: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Malcolm Atkinson, David Fergusson, Elizabeth van der Meer. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>AHeSSC: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Sheila Anderson, Stuart Dunn, Elpiniki Fragkouli, Lorna Hughes. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>ISSTI: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>James Stewart, Robin Williams, </li></ul></ul>JISC Future of Research
    14. 14. Useful Links <ul><li>Community Engagement Projects Portal: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>http://www.engage.ac.uk/ </li></ul></ul><ul><li>e-Uptake: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>http://engage.ac.uk/e-uptake </li></ul></ul><ul><li>RIN project: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>http://tinyurl.com/RINWeb20 </li></ul></ul>JISC Future of Research

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