Wednesday, 14 July 2010
Same talk, different audience
Today I've been to the Oxford ICT Forum Conference to speak on the challenges facing an IT Director in HE. The conference is open to all IT support staff in Oxford (and Cambridge) - those employed by the central IT service, the departments, and the colleges. The set up is very different to that found in Sheffield - the central IT service only provide the network up the outside of buildings for example. And I discovered that no-one knows how many university web servers there are as anyone can set one up (unlike in Sheffield where the firewall prevents web traffic going out unless you specifically apply for an exemption). **edit - I may have got this wrong - see comments
There were a LOT of people there - maybe 350? I gave the same talk as the one I gave to IWMW on Monday, (although I did remove the picture of Brian Kelly dressed as a woman on a bike) and it seemed to go down well, with a lot of comments and questions afterwards. I did think I might need a police escort out after suggesting that IT should be seen as a shared service within the institution before we start to look outside, given that they are so devolved - not even the business systems are in the IT department for example. However, perhaps I can get away with mentioning the unmentionable. It does seem to me, as an outsider, to be a remarkably inefficient way of running things.
During lunch I managed to catch up with the live stream of the closing session from IWMW10, to hear Brian Kelly making me out to be some sort of saint, and then Owen Stephens bringing me back down to earth with some good criticisms of my talk. You see, I have blackmail-able photos of Brian, but none, as yet, of Owen.....
PS - thanks to Tony Brett for the photo - but as he pointed out, it does look as though I'm having a Time Warp moment, and a jump to the left is about to happen!