IT Desktop Support

Process Review details

This Process Review will form part of the second phase of the Shared Services project which was initiated by the Registrar and Secretary as part of the Creating Value exercise.  The purpose of this project was to explore activities taking place in more than one unit within the University with a view to determining whether this would be better centralised or delivered via a different model. 

The Desktop Support Team (DST) offer a standard service to other Professional Services and some Schools to support routine office PC setups.  Other Schools pay for their own local support for this type of IT provision, by employing CDO's who also support research computing and other IT facilities which are specific to certain academic disciplines. 

DST believe that there could be benefits to users of pooling the standard PC support centrally such as increased resilience through being able to offer support at all times, prioritising queries to the Helpdesk and promoting the use of Active Directory.  There is also the view that locating the service in DST would allow for the capacity to support a necessary amount of variation, such as support for Apple Mackintosh equipment, which is currently not possible. 

There have been difficulties in moving to this model as desktop support is not included in the Professional Services Charge on Schools and buying it in as an addition can work out a more expensive option than employing their own support directly.   There are also cultural reasons why staff in Schools prefer to have their own local, dedicated IT support colleagues.

The review aims to carry out an audit to establish the current levels of support using interviews and focus groups with key stakeholder groups.  Benchmarking data will also be collected and a survey of other organisations and comparator universities to establish their levels of provision and internal funding models. 

The recommendations need to be both cost-effective and to take account of the need to support specific variations.