A guest post from the new Assistant Director of IT (Infrastructure, Security & Research Computing)

The first thing I’d like to say in this – my first blog post – is how incredibly humbling it is to join this great institution. I’ve been welcomed so warmly by the people I’ve met in my first few weeks. When joining a new organisation, it takes time to build up a network of contacts. Getting that all important understanding of the way it works can also be a challenge as current staff tend hold back or are reluctant to fully engage with ‘outsiders’. I’ve found, to my delight, that the University’s culture is the opposite. Colleagues engage freely and with a real desire to share what they know and understand.

Learn more about my experience

I have a background working in the delivery, support and innovation of IT and IT teams for the last 20+ years. I have enjoyed an IT career which has taken me through the Public Sector, working for a leading-edge start-up Research and Development Company, and Local Authority Education supporting large School estates.

I was part of the project team that delivered GLOW for the Scottish Government, and then led the support and evolution of it for a few years. GLOW was considered ground-breaking internationally at that time in its aim to deliver a national digital learning community. Together, we made this platform available to all pupils, teachers and parents in Scotland. This gave educators and students access to a large-scale technology ecosystem for the first time. The programme continues to enable collaboration, enhanced learning and teaching, and the delivery of results and audit information in a secure way through various cloud-based services. Latterly, I’ve worked supporting Further Education Colleges in Scotland and England, and for the last few years, I’ve held a Senior Management position within a global enterprise IT team.

With all this experience, I still recognise that there is an organisational and cultural context to Dundee which is different. Embracing it is something I look forward to.

Areas of focus in my new role

Joining the UoD IT team during this period of Business Transformation for the University gives me an opportunity to look at what we’re doing with a fresh pair of eyes, and with strong awareness of the community focus that we want to embed in everything we do. Over the coming months, working with the backbone of the talented and hardworking people in UoD IT, we will focus on:

  • Evolving the ways we work to be smarter, more autonomous and improve cybersecurity. This will be done in line with the increasing capability of those who seek to undermine our data and systems, and within an evolving legislative landscape.
  • Building a roadmap to ensure the infrastructure that underpins everything we do today with technology is robust and highly available.
  • Working closely with the Business Transformation team to ensure they achieve the goals they’re set to deliver.

I’m very interested to meet colleagues and students across the University to understand how we can improve the services we deliver, and to ensure the ones you value highly today are delivered at the same level or improved further.
As we move through the University strategy and transform ourselves, it’s my goal to ensure that IT is enabling, engaging and available.