The IT Division comprises some 130 staff members ranging from support technicians, through system administrators, engineers, software developers to business analysts. It plans, provides and maintains cyber-infrastructure (such as networks, central servers, identity management, e-mail and telecommunications systems, amongst others) and various applications, information systems and services that are essential to the university’s core academic and administrative functions, and supports users in the effective use of information and communications technology (ICT). Uniquely amongst South African institutions, it maintains a significant, internal software development capability. Traditionally the IT Division has concentrated on user support, providing cyber-infrastructure and administrative systems for finances, human resources and student and curriculum administration – with a particular emphasis on technology. However, the IT Division is intent on meeting the ever-growing information needs of the university by increasingly focusing on:
- becoming a strategic partner for functional entities within the institution, especially academic faculties and departments
- providing information services and systems that support the core academic functions of teaching and learning, research and community outreach
- understanding and analysing academic and institutional processes with a view to providing appropriate information solutions
- aligning its offerings with the strategic objectives of the institution.
Simultaneously, the division is aware of and is tracking the rapidly-changing cyber-landscape where ubiquitous, always-on, high-speed information networks, mobility, social media and the advent of cloud computing are presenting new challenges and transformational opportunities. The IT Division recognises that it has to become more agile and responsive to the insitution’s needs, but also realises that ICT’s essential role in knowledge production and sharing requires that its services are reliable, resilient, secure and transparent.