Friday, 16 October 2009


Met with Alex Hawker, programme manager for the JISC Flexible Delivery Programme. The programme is of interest and relevance because:

"This £2M programme aims to advance the agenda in architectural agility within and across institutions is higher and further education and to build alignment between institutional needs and its underlying technologies. "

With more defined aims:
  1. Help universities and colleges to understand their evolving administrative and academic processes and requirements so they are able to make better use of their current systems, and fully understand the impact, cost and risk of change, and thereby identify what issues need to be addressed to better integrate their systems and to move to more appropriate and flexible modes of service delivery
  2. Help universities and colleges proactively engage with suppliers of administrative and academic systems to identify FSD solutions to these evolving institutional/consortia/sectoral needs
  3. Work in collaboration with suppliers of administrative and academic systems, informing them of the commercial advantages in offering SOA compliant systems to the sector, and to develop open systems and interfaces, and carry out pre-competitive R&D in collaboration with the sector so that their products are fit-for-purpose
One of the first activities for the programme has been to introduce sector involvement and establish the Strategic Technologies Group (STG) - the bringing together of representatives from individual educational institutions, and across institutional consortia, who wish to share, explore and invest in technical solutions that support improved and flexible ways of planning and providing administrative and academic services.

Joining the STG has many benefits:
  • A community in which to collaborate; to share experiences, knowledge, lessons learnt, common issues and challenges, and good practice solutions with others
  • A framework in which to form cross-institutional partnerships
  • Managed engagement and partnering with suppliers of administrative and academic systems to maximise the market potential for their systems and services
  • Improved understanding of your administrative and academic areas of concern and requirements for supporting ICT systems, and of the impact, cost and risk of changing technical systems, supporting better use of current systems and more informed purchasing decisions for new ones
  • Access to support, guidance and training
  • JISC funding
Initially, I will look to join University of Bristol as an Explorer Member, which will give us access to the programme's community and activities, and £5k of funding.

In return, I have agreed to investigate the creation of a 'cluster' group to explore the 'Business Case for EA' and how to communicate to this to senior management.

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