Global information Systems Strategy

Executive Summary

The key focus Division of Information and Communication Technology (ICT)Services of University of Southern Queensland (USQ) will be to provide client-focused, outcome-oriented services and support to students and staff, no matter their location. The purpose of this report is to investigate current situation of the USQ's divisions of ICT Services. This report also searches for the challenges and issues that USQ ICT division faces now and also provide recommendations for future enhancements and direction.

At the first section of this report about the Background of the University of Southern Queensland (USQ) and its ICT service Division. In this section this report try to find out the history of the USQ and USQ ICT Division and that is helps more to find out the Challenges and Issues. This report also finds out the mission and vision of both USQ and USQ ICT service division.

The next section is the identification of the key issues of USQ ICT service division. To do this the consultant analyse the organisations background and its future plans. The report also considers the current and future global information strategy. Considering all the aspects this report identify 4 (Four) major issues. These are ICT management, strategic and development management, Support and performance measurement issues and Infrastructure management issues. In this section this report also identifies the sub issues of the major issues.

In the next section of the report is the depths analysing of the above issues and challenges. In this section this report tries to find the root of the problems and analyse the problems with supporting concepts. In this section discuss only the 2 sub key issues of all major Issues.

The last section of this report is recommendations and the implementations of recommendations. This section is divided into 3 parts. At the first part this report describes about the short term recommendations. Analysing the Challenges and the key Issues of Division of ICT Services USQ this recommend to improve immediately the PeopleSoft system as the most of the staffs are not satisfied about the system and the report also recommends increasing the e-mail quota for the staffs.

In the medium term recommendation section this report proposes to adopt new technologies to the USQ ICT service. At first this report describes about the Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) and recommends implementing this technology to the ICT department to replace the traditional barcode system. This report also recommends adopting Plagiarism software to provide better academic support. At last this report also provides some recommendation for long term strategic planning.

1 Background

About USQ:

The University of Southern Queensland (USQ) is a leader in flexible learning, opened in 1967, originally as an Institute of Technology and later developed as a College of Advanced Education. It was redesignated as a university in 1992. The USQ has changed significantly since that time – building its research and postgraduate programs, expanding its international profile, and growing as a multi-campus institution – but it has retained its foundation values of putting the student first, building employment readiness in its graduates and building community. The University has over 26 000 enrolments, including around 7500 international students. More than 120 nationalities are represented and about 5000 international students study USQ programs in their home countries. (Overview of USQ 2007). The Vision of the University of Southern Queensland is to be Australia's leading transnationaleducator. The University of Southern Queensland is a learner-focused and community-oriented university which is committed to flexible distance and on-campus education. It is highly regarded for its learning and teaching excellence, focused research and enterprise, multiculturalism and effective engagement with the community. The University will be acknowledged by graduates, governments and industry as Australia's leading transnational educator, delivering programs, characterised by currency and relevance, through a network of university cities within and beyond the nation. It will continue to improve learning and increase access through innovative pedagogy and the creative use of technology. (University Vision Statement 2007)

About Division of ICT services USQ:

The Division of Information and Communication Technology (ICT)Services was established in January 2006. The key focus of the Division will be to provide client-focused, outcome-oriented services and support to students and staff, no matter their location. ICT and faculty ICT support units will continue to provideICT support services throughout their transition into the Division of ICT Services and a single University-wide ICT Service Desk has been established. ICT support information will be progressively updated to reflect changes as they occur and advice provided to the University community. (Division of ICT Services 2006). The Vision of the is committed to supporting USQ's institutional goals by providing information and communication technology services that are relevant, responsive and tailored to satisfying the diverse and challenging requirements of our University community. The Service Ethos of the Division of ICT USQ is underpinned by “The Four Pillars”. Chief Technology Officer, Brian Kissell. “The four pillars outlined in the Charter actually underpin our service ethos”. (USQ news August 2006) These pillars are

1 Managing and Leadership: Through inclusive leadership we will deliver effective ICT services by means of diverse, synergistic and transparent management, committed to optimizing every staff members potential.

2 Resource Management: We will be advocates for, and respond effectively to the needs of the University community ensuring that our resources are accessible, attuned and continually adapted to requirements.

3 Knowing our Clients: We will engage in active partnerships with our community, delivering current and future ICT direction through innovation, collaboration and leveraging off our unique potential to create new opportunities.

4 Communication: We will achieve optimal outcomes for our clients through timely, situational appropriate, collaborative, professional and informative communication. (ICT Charter 2006)

The information and communication technology (ICT) resources at the University of Southern Queensland (USQ) support the instructional, research, and administrative activities of the University. Users of these facilities may have access to University resources, sensitive data, and external networks. Consequently, it is imperative for all users to behave in a responsible, ethical, and legal manner. The CTO Brian Kissell of ICT division describe after the one year situation of establishment of the ICT division in the ICT Newsletter November 2006 as “The majority of ICT staff identified during the change process are now part of the Division, line management positions have all been finalised, the majority of SLA's(Service Level Agreement) with faculties and campuses are in place and work is progressing in developing and implementing new operational processes and procedures to build the type of organisation jointly envisioned in 2005. While there are too many points of note and achievements that have occurred throughout the year to list here, one that is worth noting is the successful upgrade of the PeopleSoft Finance System from V7.5 to V8.9 that went live on Tuesday 21 November. A tremendous effort, and an excellent result.” He also describes the Future of ICT as “2007 will no doubt have its own challenges and with the University as a whole embracing significant change in a number of areas, the Division is well placed to respond efficiently and effectively. Budgets for 2007 have now been finalised and all non teaching areas of the University have been tasked with achieving efficiency dividends which will require some creative initiatives within the Division. I am confident that through prudent management of ICT resources we will achieve these without impacting planned organisational development activities.” (ICT Newsletter November 2006).

USQ was nominated as a finalist in two major categories at the itSMF (IT Service Management Forum) Inaugural 2006 ITSM Industry Awards Ceremony. The categories were "Innovation of the Year" and "Best ITIL Implementation". Both nominations were in recognition of the significant changes that have occurred in 2006 following the ICT Review. Whilst USQ did not win either award it was a significant achievement to be nominated as finalists and is recognition of the contributions of so many staff at USQ involved throughout the ICT Review process and the ongoing efforts to realise the benefits of the reorganisation. (ICT Newsletter November 2006).

The purpose of this report is to investigate current situation of the USQ's divisions of ICT Services. This report also searches for the challenges and issues that USQ ICT division faces now and also provide recommendations for future enhancements and direction.

The below displays the structure of the Division ofICT Servicesas of May 2006 and identifies the three Principal Manager positions and the underlying Managers Division ofICT Services.

Source : <>

2 Identification of Important Issues and Challenges

The aims of USQ ICT department are to provide information and communication technology services that are relevant, responsive and tailored to satisfy the diverse and challenging requirements of the university community (Cass, A 2006). According to the USQ ICT website (<>, 2007) and from the relevant Information of the USQ ICT dept. this report find some important issues and challenges that the department are facing now or will be face in near future are:

· ICT Management Issues: The management issues are the main challenges that the USQ ICT department facing now. In term of academic it is also called as Management of Information System (MIS). There are lots of management issues, but the most common issues are:

o Customer Relationship Management (CRM): Here the customers of the ICT department are the students, Academic and non academic staffs of the all campuses of the University of Southern Queensland.

o Human Resources Management: This issues deals with the Staffs of the ICT department.

o Security Management: This is very important and common issues for any ICT service providers.

· Strategic and Development Issues/Challenges: As ICT is a very rapidly change sector it is always in development with new and upgraded technology. Strategic management is a common and important issue for all type of department. In the USQ ICT department must be consider the following issues for the development of this section:

o Strategic planning and scope management Issues.

o Research and Development Issues.

o Cost and funding management Issues.

o Adopting new technologies Issues.

o Outsourcing selected Information Services.

· Service support and Performance Issues: According to the “ Division of ICT Services, Charter – 2006” the ICT is committed to supporting USQ's institutional goals by providing information and communication technology services that are relevant, responsive and tailored to satisfying the diverse and challenging requirements of the University community. The university's ICT support units have undergone a massive restructure since January 2006, with Faculty and Department support units now merged under one roof – the Division of ICT services. (Cass, A 2006). This report identify that the ICT department mainly focus on the following issues to provide better service and performance:

o Provide better ICT services to all internal and external students and staffs including e-mail, internet, printing etc.

o Technical services.

o Provide ICT Training to all staffs and students.

· Infrastructure and its maintenances Issues: Infrastructure is another key word in the ICT sector. Better service is mostly related to the Better infrastructure. This section is always in touch with maintenances and upgrading. The infrastructure related challenges that USQ ICT division faces are::

o Upgrading and maintenances of the USQ Computer network including wireless and fiber optical network.

o Upgraded maintenances of the software and hardware of the on campus computer labs.

o Upgraded and maintenances of the USQ Data Centre.

3 Analysis of underlying causes of the key issues

3.1 ICT management Issues

An IT specialist Paton (2007) said, “….While chief executives generally recognise the value of technological advances, they are often unprepared to put in the personal time and effort to understand the full potential of new technologies.”. Management Information Systems (MIS) is a general name for the academic discipline covering the application of people, technologies, and procedures — collectively called the information system — to solve business problems. MIS are distinct from regular information systems in that they are used to analyze other information systems applied in operational activities in the organisation. Academically, the term is commonly used to refer to the group of information management methods tied to the automation or support of human decision making, (Wikepedia 2007) This report analyse that the following technology management issues should be consider for the USQ ICT section.

3.1.1 Customer Relationship Management (CRM):

Customer relationship management (CRM) is a broad term that covers concepts used by organizations to manage their relationships with customers, including collecting, storing and analyzing customer information. Here the customers of the ICT department are the students, Academic and non academic staffs of the all campuses of the University of Southern Queensland. The technology requirements of a CRM strategy can be very complex and far reaching. The basic building blocks include

ü A database to store students and staffs information. This can be a CRM specific database or an enterprise data warehouse

ü Operational CRM requires customer agent support software.

ü Collaborative CRM requires students and staffs information interaction systems, eg an interactive website, automated phone systems etc.

ü Analytical CRM requires statistical analysis software, as well as software that manages any specific marketing campaigns.

(Wikepedia 2007)

3.1.2 Human resource management challenges:

Human resources management deals specifically with organizational planning, staff acquisition and team development. (Schwalbe,K 2006). The ICT division of USQ uses people soft system for Human Resource management. The PeopleSoft HRMS provides complete support for all human resource needs. It utilises relational database technology to provide a flexible, user friendly environment for maintaining, tracking and administering all the HR needs. Initially HRMS will assist with administering the workforce, managing positions, recruiting the workforce, administering leave, maintaining employee benefits (superannuation) and processing payroll. The system includes the followings:

ü HR Modules The HRMS system comprises a number of modules. Below is a brief description of the modules developed for Phase 1 and their relevance to end users.

ü Develop Workforce – This module includes employee training, recruitment and position management. You will be able to view position information contained in this module for planning, recruitment and budgeting purposes.

ü Administer Workforce – This area includes personal details, job details and information relevant to an employee.

ü Compensate Employees – This module includes payroll data and leave information. End users will be able to view leave data and additional pay information such as higher duties, Head of Department allowances and casual contract details. (PeopleSoft HR Users Guide: University of Southern Queensland 2004)

3.2 Strategic and Development Issues

According to the ICT Charter (2006), It is committed to supporting USQ's institutional goals by providing information and communication technology services that are relevant, responsive and tailored to satisfying the diverse and challenging requirements of the University community. We will achieve this through:

§ Active engagement and consultation with the USQ community to provide quality ICT solutions, services and processes.

§ Measuring service delivery and performance against best practice in order to facilitate continuous improvement and service excellence.

§ Encouraging, recognising and developing our staff potential through a program of activities designed to enhance technical, administrative and/or management competence and promote effective leadership.

§ Building innovative partnerships and opportunities with industry and our communities that support learning and teaching, research and enhance the student experience.

§ Providing informative communication that is timely, situationally appropriate, inclusive and professional.

The Achieve these goals this report found some key strategic and future issues and challenges that are mention in the previous section in this report. In the following, the report analyse 2 of these issues. is

3.2.1 Planning and scope management Issues:

Scope refers to all the work involved in creating the products of the project and the processes used to create them. It includes the processes involved in defining and controlling what is or is not included in a project. Many projects fail due to poor scope management. Scope management is difficult because people have different understandings of what should be done on projects. It is very important to ensure that the project team and stakeholders have the same understanding of what products will be produced as a result of a project and what processes will be used in producing those products.(Schwalbe,K 2006). As ICT is a very rapidly change technology so it is big challenge for the ICT USQ to provide a good strategic planning and scopes. As this department done a good job before but it is steel a big challenge for this department.

3.2.2 Research and Development Issues:

Development and research is an on going process for ICT Division. According to ICT Charter (May 2007) Software development is a key challenge for USQ ICT to provide the initial business analysis, design and development of software applications, databases and application support. ICT training is another challenge for the ICT Development the tracings are included design, development and presentation of courses on in-house systems and software applications, to USQ staff, students and external clients. Another challenge for ICT USQ is consultancy and support of high-end computing and video-conferencing facilities for academic research and learning and teaching enhancement.

3.3 Support And Performance Issues

Service support and performance measurement is another key challenge for USQ ICT division. As USQ is an education provider and its world wide range through a big challenge for ICT department. To Provide the ICT services to the all kinds of staffs including academic, non academic, visitors and also to the all kinds of students including on campus, external and web is a big deal for ICT USQ and it done the job well so far.

3.3.1 ICT services:

The main challenges coming from the services including e-mail, internet, printing, software and hardware support for the computer labs and staff's computer and mainly from web based academic services. To measure the performance every year Division of ICT arranges a survey to the staffs and students.

Student ICT Satisfaction survey 2006:

Delivering Information and Communication Technology (ICT) systems and services to students from different parts of the world, with different cultures and a diverse range of backgrounds creates challenges for Universities. The Division of ICT Services (DICTS) annual Student ICTSatisfaction Survey is designed to gain information about student ICT needs. The main services addressed in the DICTS Student Surveys were as follows:

Online Library Catalogues
Dial-in Access to USQ
Laptop Wireless Connections
Student E-mail
Electronic Discussion Groups
USQ Computer Labs
On-campus Printers and Scanners
Student Help Desk
Off-campus Printers and Scanners
Support for User Name and Passwords

The result of the survey is graphically presented in the Appendix A – Appendix E. (USQ ICT website, Student Satisfaction Survey, 2007)

Staffs ICT Satisfaction survey 2006: The purpose of these surveys is to give staff at USQ an opportunity to rate their satisfaction with DICTS systems, services, and support. Results from the 2006 surveys have been compared to the results obtained in 2005. These results provide a benchmark for future surveys, which allows a process of continuous improvement to the Division of Information and Communication Technology Services provisions and services. The main services that were addressed in the DICTS Student Surveys are as follows:

Peoplesoft systems - Finance, HR (including Employee Self Service) and Student Admin
USQ Web Site
Library via the Web
USQStudyDesk (WebCT)
The USQ network and internet infrastructure
USQ Student computer labs
Desktop services including Help Desk and computer support
Utility services including telephone

Some key result of the survey is graphically presented in the Appendix F – Appendix I. (USQ ICT website, Student Satisfaction Survey, 2007)

3.3.2 Technical services:

Technical support is mainly based on hardware and soft ware related support. The University of Southern Queensland has a number of hardware and software agreements with suppliers that may result in various benefits being passed onto University staff, students and alumni when they purchase privately. These benefits may extend to preferential pricing on hardware and/or software or access to a range of additional services such as extended warranty or support. (USQ ICT website 2007)

3.4 Infrastructure and its maintenance Issues

Infrastructure is another key area that needs to always upgrade and properly maintained to provide better service. Although this sector is well established in USQ but it also faces some challenges. The infrastructure related challenges that USQ ICT division faces are:

3.4.1 Upgrade and maintenance Data centre: (2007) define data center is a facility that used to house mission critical computer systems and associated components. It generally includes environmental controls (air conditioning, fire suppression, etc.), redundant/backup power supplies, redundant data communications connections and high security. This is a very important and sencible part of USQ ICT division . The manager of Data centre Richard Young describe (ICT Newsletter November 2006) the current position of USQ ICT as “At the moment the Data Centre is mainly concerned with maintaining the E Block and K6 facilities though it will taking on the responsibility for the PABX, Fraser Coast and Springfield facilities”. He also said about of the data centre, “I see an important and exciting future for the Data Centre as it is an integral part of ICT. Over the next 12 months the Data Centre is to be redeveloped more along the lines of a corporate data centre, with the view of possibly providing a facility that can be used by external companies to host their resources. Data Centre can meet the needs of USQ now and in the future. As USQ heads more and more towards an e-learning environment I see the Data Centre hosting more cutting edge technology to support USQ needs. The redevelopment of the Data Centre will see the introduction of new and different faculties such as complete system monitoring”.

3.4.2 Upgrade and maintenance Computer network:

The University enterprise network is an environment in which client's access information and Information and Communication Technology resources across a campus communications backbone. The goal is to provide within the University enterprise network, a scalable networking infrastructure which is responsive to the adoption of innovative instructional and information systems as identified in the University's Information and Communication Technology Strategic Plan. The Policy for the Network Infrastructure is proposed to ensure the continued successful operation of the University enterprise network. This policy will focus on sustaining the following key principles:

Security: Adequate security provisions will be implemented to safeguard the confidentiality, integrity and availability of information and Information and Communication Technology.

Interoperability: Compatible networking solutions will be selected, ensuring that services can be integrated into the broader network, maximising the potential for clients to gain access to those services.

Access: Access to services of varying standards shall be provided to meet the specific needs of the client or client group.

Economy: Future acquisitions of network infrastructure components shall be undertaken as economically as possible.

(Policy for the Network Infrastructure 2006)

4 Recommendations

Analysing the key issues and challenges that Divisions of ICT Services of USQ faces in managing its ICT services, this report propose the following recommendation to reduce the issues. This report also explained how to implement the recommendations. Future concern is the main focus of this report. These recommendations are separated by 3 time frames according to the prioritization of the issues. These are short term recommendations, medium term recommendations and long term recommendations. To make the recommendations, this report analysis the current stage of the global information systems and make a realistic assumption what the nearest future will be.

4.1 Short term Recommendations

These recommendations are most important and the report proposes to immediate implementation (Maximum 6 months).

4.1.1 Improve the PeopleSoft system:

USQ uses PeopleSoft as a platform for its Human Resources, Financial and Student Administration Systems.Access to these systems is strictly controlled.Staffs of the USQ are not satisfied about this system as the staffs satisfaction survey result 2006 (Appendix G) shows that the negative comments about PeopleSoft System are 48 where positive comments are only 7. This report proposes to update the system

4.1.2 Improve the E-mail service:

USQ provide Web mail/E-mail for Each staff member that is assigned a mailbox and personal folder file for email. Quotas are applied to USQ Mailboxes.ICT-supported mailboxes have quotas applied at two levels.The first is at 150Mb where staff will be sent a warning message asking you to reduce the amount of email stored in their Mailbox.The second level is set at 200 Mb where again, staff you will be sent a warning message. At the second level, staff will still receive messages, but cannot send any emails until mailbox is below the quota level.This quota system is one of the negative sides of the USQ e-mail system, that's why staffs are not satisfied to the system (See Appendix I). Now the free mail system like hotmail, yahoo, g-mail are provide more than 1 Gb where USQ provide only 150 Mb. So this report proposes to withdraw the quota limit for E-mail service.

4.2 Medium term Recommendations

According to the global information system strategy this report proposes to adopt the most emerging technologies to the USQ ICT division. As a medium term recommendation, this report proposes to adopt the new technologies with in next 6 to 12 months. The technologies that the report proposes are RFID technology and Plagiarism software.

4.2.1 Implement RFID technology:

Radio frequency identification (RFID) uses to identify people or objects automatically by using radio waves. To transmit data from a RFID tag the products are labeled with a microchip that produces some special radio frequencies. This radio frequency is then read by a RFID reader. The RFID tag contains information like price, MFD. EXP and other product related information. ( 2006). This report proposes to implement RFID technology over traditional barcode system in the division of ICT services at USQ. The benefits are: 1) RFID tags can be read long-range distance and without contact, line-of-sight, or a particular orientation. This reduces materials handling, speeds inventory control tasks, and makes circulation activities fast, easy and accurate. 2) RFID tags contain more information for portable database. It also contains re-writable space for additional data. This additional space is used to store a security setting.

4.2.2 Adopt Plagiarism software:

Today's the most popular academic topic is plagiarism. Educators and content creators all over the world now begin to fight against plagiarism and restore integrity to written work. As a result some technology introduced as the solution of plagiarism. Turn-It-in is one of these type technologies that can detect online based plagiarism. (Wikipedia 2007) .This report proposes to implement Turn-It-In plagiarism software to use in student's academic assessment (assignment, report, project paper or thesis) at USQ. The main benefit is a powerful unique text-matching algorithm used in this software to detect inexact matching between a plagiarized paper and its source. This capability rise awareness to the students who trying to disguise plagiarism by paraphrasing.

4.3 Long term Recommendations

As long term recommendations this report proposes to develop a good strategic plan. To do so at first Find out the current business performance as measured by one or more key indicators (e.g. ROI), Then contributes to attaining a strategic goal and at last fundamentally changes the way an organisation does business, the way it competes or the way it deals with its stakeholders. (McNurlin,B & Sprague,R 1989) This report recommend to follow the three uses of IT strategic plan identified by McNurlin & Sprague (2004, pp. 86–90):

o To eengineer business processes: Develop a better communication between the USQ ICT divisions and it's service binificiers including staffs and students. Find out what is the IT problems that the stakeholders are facing and how it will be reduce.

o As competitive tools: This strategic plan focused on the customers or service holders needs.

o For organisational linkage: Try to communicate to the other organisations which are already develop a IT strategic plan.

5 List of References

o Overview of USQ 2007, Viewed on 24 May 2007,<>

o University Vision Statement 2007, Viewed on 23 May 2007, <>

o Division of ICT Services 2006, Viewed on 25th May 2007, <>

o ICT Charter 2006, Viewed on 27 May 2007, <>

o Cass, A 2006, Division of ICT Services Launched, USQ news August 2006

o Wikipedia 2007,

* Management Information System, Viewed on 27 May 2007, <>

* Data Centre, Viewed on 22 May 2007, <>

* -Customer Relationship Management, Viewed on 25 May 2007, <>

· Plagiarism, Viewed on 27 May 2007, <>

o PeopleSoft HR Users Guide: University of Southern Queensland 2004, Viewed on 29 May 2007,<>

o 2007, RFID, Viewed on 24 May 2007, <>

o Paton, N 2007, Business missing out on technology benefits, Viewed on 29 March 2007, <>

o Schwalbe,K 2006, Information technology project management, 4th edn.

o McNurlin,B & Sprague,R 1989, Information systems management in practice, 2ndedn, Prentice-Hall International, London.


Appendix A – Student Satisfaction survey 2006

Systems: Number of Negative Comments

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Appendix B - Student Satisfaction survey 2006 Services: Number of Negative Comments

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Appendix C - Student Satisfaction survey 2006 Support: Number of Negative Comments

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Appendix D - Student Satisfaction survey 2006 Ease of Use: Number of Negative Comments

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Appendix E - Student Satisfaction survey 2006 Frequence of Use: Number of Negative Comments

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Appendix F- Staff Satisfaction survey 2006 Comments about ICT Support

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Appendix G- Staff Satisfaction survey 2006 Chart displaying positive and negative comments

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Appendix H- Staff Satisfaction survey 2006 Comments about ICT Training at USQ

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Appendix I- Staff Satisfaction survey 2006 Comments about Support for Email

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Appendix J- Staff Satisfaction survey 2006 Comments about USQAssist as a Knowledge Management System

(Source : <>, Last viewed 28th May 2007)

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