The catalogue includes those provided within the School, by UIS and by third-party vendors. The first iteration of the Information Services’ IT Catalogue has now been made available online for review and comment via the project website at:
Why are we doing this?
UIS is incorporating industry best practice into the way it plans to manage its IT services in the years to come. The approach is still being refined, but is likely to be an adapted version of the ITIL® framework commonly adopted throughout the IT industry. The ultimate aim is to provide Cambridge with the world-class IT facilities and services it needs to meet the future demands of its teaching, learning and research activities.
A key activity for the new UIS department is the creation of an IT service portfolio to give the University a macro view of IT service provision at Cambridge, which will inform its strategic decision-making in the long term.
An IT service catalogue is a subset of the portfolio, dealing only with the live services currently offered. This is effectively a vast knowledge base detailing each IT service in a consistent way. It will help the University's COs and service managers to deliver services to their Institution more effectively, provide the technical community with a wealth of data, and give service users a 'one-stop-shop' to discover all the IT services available to them:
The Information Services’ IT Catalogue will become an invaluable management tool for discovering needs that are not being adequately served by the currently available services, enabling the University to address those shortcomings strategically. Equally, any areas of overlap may be reviewed.
What is the scope of this project?
The creation of an IT service portfolio for Cambridge will be a gargantuan undertaking. This pilot project is intended to provide UIS with an opportunity to take a first bite at this task by limiting the scope to a single School. At the same time, it will allow us to develop strong collaborative working process with the School, which will serve as a model for bringing other Institutions onboard in future.
What is being created?
The outcome of the pilot will be the embryonic Information Services’ IT Catalogue. It will present customised 'views' to the School's diverse user groups via a web interface, identifying only the services that are available to that user group. Users will also have the option to browse the full service catalogue, access to a multi-filter search facility and the ability to create their own list of bookmarked services (when logged in):
How is it being done?
In order to define an effective structure for the Catalogue – both for internal managerial purposes, and for its public presentation to users – the project team has been engaging with many people throughout the School (and the wider user community) to identify its various user groups, and to understand how each might interact with such a catalogue.
Other team members have been working to compile an exhaustive list of the complete range of services UIS currently provides – no mean feat in itself, following the merger of the former Management Information and Computing Service Departments into one organisation last year. The process has also raised the question 'what is a service?', to which a satisfactory answer is not a simple as it would appear, in this context. Similarly, work on defining the comprehensive list of all the IT services available within the School of Arts & Humanities is underway.
Using an 'agile' development approach, we will be releasing iterative prototype versions of the web-based Catalogue, inviting comment, making adjustments, and repeating the cycle. The first iteration has now been made publicly available, and we invite you to take a look at the proposed structure of the Catalogue and the way it is being presented to users, and to give us your feedback for the next iteration. This beta does not include very much detail on any services yet, as the template for capturing all the information relating to each service, so that they can be presented consistently across Institutions, is also still being defined.
Where can you test the beta Catalogue and give feedback?
Visit the project website, where you can gain access to the current beta Information Services’ IT Catalogue, and share your comments with us via the feedback form at: http://www.catalogue-project.uis.cam.ac.uk