Friday, 30 May 2014

What you looking at?

Nice long weekend away to start the week - camping. And yes, it did rain.

We've been thinking about Business Continuity Planning this week, and what it means to CiCS. Normally as Chair of the University Business Continuity Operations Group I think about what it means to the University, but this time we were thinking much closer to home. For the major systems we provide to the University its something we do as a matter of course, we build resilience, reliability, duplication, mirroring, failover, data storage and back up into almost everything we do. But there's a lot of other services we provide to the University, and other functions involved in keeping us as a department running that we need take another look at.

Yesterday I was at a UCISA Executive meeting where we talked a lot about the changes that are happening to UCISA  including changes to its charitable status and the establishment of a trading company. All very complex and I'm glad there are people on the committee who understand it!  A lot of other topics discussed, including a joint initiative between ourselves and Educause to look at the skills needed for a moden day CIO, and the continuation of our initiative on Action Learning Sets for Deputy and Assistant Directors. We also touched on our relationship with JISC and some of the changes happening there. The JISC funded Summer of Student Innovation, has been a success again with nearly 40 ideas  submitted, and voting on them is still open - get over there and vote for your favourite project.  UCISA are looking at doing something similar for staff which I'm sure will be equally as successful. I was also able to report that planning for the next UCISA Conference is going well, with 4 top class speakers already confirmed, and I'm awaiting responses from others.

In other news, our peregrine falcon chicks continue to grow, and have started to balance precariously on the edge of the nest and flap their wings. They're starting to look a little cuter now they're preending the scraggly down away. They're also rather curious!

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