Improving our IT network and services

30 June 2022

Laptop surrounded by tech icons

IT Services shares details of the IT Architecture Programme which will transform Oxford Brookes digital infrastructure over the next five years.

The IT Architecture Programme is a five-year, £16m project that will transform the University’s IT network and supporting digital services to enable them to support and achieve our current and future needs.

The work being undertaken by colleagues in IT Services is the largest digital infrastructure transformation the University has undertaken to date. It will provide the foundation for a digital campus which meets the needs of our students and colleagues.

  • Successfully completing this programme will ensure that we can:
  • Deliver an improved student and staff experience
  • Better support research and knowledge exchange
  • Further develop international and partnership engagement
  • Migrate to cloud services providing an on-demand service so that we can meet the changing needs of a digital campus
  • Increase the range of educational technology services we offer for example lecture capture and simulation learning suite
  • Transform the way we use data to deliver quality information at the right time
  • Enhance IT service excellence by improving the support and advice services we provide to staff, students and visitors.

The programme is already underway to replace the internet connectivity that has served the University well over the years and is in need of replacement. Benefits are already being delivered, and cloud-enabled systems are allowing colleagues and students to work in an on-demand, agile way through a variety of devices on and off campus.

The programme is built around seven pillars:

PillarCurrent status
Identity and access managementdelivered
IT security management
continuous improvement phase
IT service management
continuous improvement phase
End-user computing
ongoing
Connectivity (complete redesign and refresh of the wired network and new WiFi service)
contract awarded and project started
Systems and applications (data governance, enterprise application integration, application lifecycle management etc)
ongoing
Hosting (continue move to cloud services)
project started

This huge transformation project will impact all services reliant on the IT network, but the end result will be an improved, more stable and more secure infrastructure that will support the University’s teaching and research going forward.

However, as with all major construction work, in order to deliver these benefits to the University there will be some disruption to services along the way. Some work will require short-term total IT network outages, such as the work which was undertaken overnight on 28 May, whilst other outages will be targeted to specific areas of the University. There may be some additional knock-on effects from this work that can be hard to predict, but our teams will be on-hand to investigate any issues which arise.

Wherever possible, service outages will be planned and communicated ensuring any impact is managed.

Over the coming months IT Services will continue to share ongoing updates for each of the pillars as well as advance warning for planned outages via Student News or all-student emails.