Today was a planning meeting for the UCISA Executive where we look at our activities for the next year, and how we can best serve the interests of our members. As always, lots of events are planned - these take the form of conferences, workshops, training courses, seminars and management days. Topics to be covered this year include Business Intelligence,Research management systems, Business process engineering, VOIP, CCTV, Unified Communications, Mobile Computing, Effective procurement, and Customer relationship management. Although there is an office of full time staff to help with the organisation of these events, much effort comes from the membership of the various groups and is voluntary - it is much appreciated.
We also looked at the top current concerns of our members, and how we might address those over the coming year. Not surprisingly, the top one was funding. We are all going to be faced with spending less, doing more with less, and deciding what we can stop doing. We had a very lively discussion on areas we should be looking at, including more use of shared services, outsourcing and centralisation of services and support. We will be having an event in the next few months to look in more detail at a vision of what IT Services might be like in 5 years time.
The second top concern was the whole area of sustainability and carbon reduction. There are a number of drivers for this - cost savings, climate change, and perhaps not least, carbon reduction targets we've all been given by the funding council and and the subsequent fines if we don't meet them. Another event to cover this area is being planned, together with the collection and publication of a number of good practice case studies. So, lots to keep UCISA occupied over the next year.