University of Sunderland has made it one of its key goals to become a Digital First university. To aid in this ambition the University is once again working with JISC, who will be supporting with the range of services they offer.
By working with JISC we will be moving towards transforming the University, so it can continue embracing a digital future. They’ll be supporting us with various new systems, moving to the cloud and most importantly helping staff to build and learn digital skills.
David Conway, Deputy Technical Director, said, “More and more people are seeing what we can deliver throughout our Digital First programme, and what we can deliver through the various platforms we’re building, such as Microsoft Office 365. Staff and students are embracing digital change far more rapidly now and probably quicker than we could have managed without the support of JISC.”
With the help of JISC an infrastructure and applications review took place to assess what the University currently had in place to help form the basis of a plan to move to the cloud. After this ‘Data Centre Zero’ or DC0 was born. By the year 2021/2022 there will be no traditional data centres on campus, and users will be accessing their data from the cloud.
Digital First is not only about improving the University’s IT estate, but also upskilling the staff who will and do have access to what we are offering. The University is currently working with both JISC and Microsoft to look at solutions such as LinkedIn Learning and how they can deliver resources which can be linked back to the digital skills framework, gaps identified, and suitable development plans put in place.
David Conway said, “The key for us moving forward will be how we’re supporting students and staff to build their digital skills and capabilities. We know we’ve got some areas of real strength in the delivery of digital education, so we’re using a group of champions to make sure where possible we’re upskilling other staff and drive that forward.”
The University of Sunderland’s relationship with JISC started back in 2016. This was around the time when Technical Services first formed, as JISC helped complete a Financial X-Ray around this newly formed department, and how it could function financially, how resources would be managed and a five-year service plan.