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Out and about

An important part of my role is to get out and meet people, to explain what enterprise architecture is about and how it will benefit the University.  I have regular meetings with a number of people across the University.  In addition, I am often invited (or put myself forward) to speak to particular groups.  Here follow a few examples.

The College of Science and Engineering IT Committee asked me to explain what my role was about and I was happy to do so.  I kept my presentation short and high level, to get across the main ideas rather than delve into technical details.  The Q&A turned into a really good discussion about the issues that staff face trying to get their jobs done and how a solution needs to address better integration of business processes as well as the supporting IT applications. As a result of this discussion, I will meet some of the admin staff in the School of Chemistry to hear first hand examples of where our current processes cause problems.

I also met the Deputy Directors of Finance to discuss how enterprise architecture could simplify their IT.  Finance is a core support function and hence the finance IT systems have to integrate with many other IT applications across the University.  Currently, this is mostly done using point-to-point integrations, which results in a large number of different connections that all need to be maintained and supported.  We could simplify this by building reusable interfaces, which would in turn reduce costs and improve reliability.

Another presentation was to my fellow Heads of Sections across Information Services.  We have a quarterly meeting at which we discuss a range of issues, and at which one or two Section Heads give an overview of their sections.  This quarter it was my turn.  Thanks to my practice at several other meetings, I managed to get my core message down to ten minutes, which is something I couldn't have managed a few months ago.  Some of my colleagues had heard me speak before but this was a good opportunity to spread the message more widely.

The Procurement Office have recruited a new member of staff to liaise with IS.  I have met her briefly and will be meeting her again tomorrow to explore how we can work most effectively with suppliers while still following procurement guidelines.  From our initial conversation, it seems that we can do better than our current practice.  This could be really useful and I'm looking forward to taking this conversation forward.

If anyone else in the University wants to hear more about enterprise architecture and the benefits it can bring, or if you want to bring particular issues to my attention, please do get in touch.

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