clark by jizhen1947



  First Class - World Class?
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         Whose Web?

        Prof M. J. Clark
Director Manchester Computing
 The University of Manchester

   World class?
   The context and environment
   The ten factors
   The architecture issues
   The gateway and ERP
   The semantic web & web services
   Knowledge Management
   Some conclusions
                    Background to the question?

   9 months ago (Oct 1 2004):
        The Victoria University of Manchester merged with UMIST
        creating The University of Manchester

           +             =
                                 Background - 2

 However: just A+B would be deemed a failure!
 The merger is premised on establishing a world-
  class institution (vision: Manchester 2015)

 all constituent parts were asked
  • what does world-class look like
  • what is necessary to be/become world-class….

                           Context 1: Information
                            Services Environment

 Information services – central to the university
  for all its activities
   • Very expensive infrastructures
      • significant number of single points of failure
          – All aspect must be assessed by risk analysis
      • costs and support issues largely invisible to the user
          – the iceberg!
  • The fastest changing area of the University
      • Staff skills have short 'half-life'
          – Requires ambitious programme of staff development (and
  • Everyone thinks they are experts!
      • They are becoming so!
      • Solutions have to scale to support national usage and
        Institutions 50,000+ users
                      Context 2: The environment

 Modern Government
        • ―education, education, education‖
        • massification/diversification/social inclusion
        • e-access to all areas of public services
 Education - a lifetime experience
     • A holistic approach to Lifelong Learning
   ‗The customer is king‘
   The e-revolution

           Context 3: Economic, Political
                     and Peer pressures

       Economic          Pressures

                             Peer Pressure and

Higher Education,
    Business        Changing Customer

           Context 4: Holistic learning

       Schools                             F-HE

           management      Tailored
            systems         portals

                          Anyone anytime
       Dynamic learning     anywhere
                                                       Context 5:

 21st Century life’s two great equalisers:
   • education
   • IT and the Internet

 Both should/will be abundantly available to all
   • Not simply for national economic well-being but for individual
     social fulfilment

 Requirement to blend long-term vision with
  short/medium term pragmatism

                                           Context 6:
                                   The academic story

University 2005+

   Increasing Differentiation

   Escalating Price Competition

   Consortial Models

   Mergers/takeovers

   Outputs Assessment

   Financially viability

   Changing academic roles?

   Changing support roles

                                         Context 7: Globalisation

   Who can predict the future?
     • Certainly not Universities
         •   we can‘t plan a certain future
     • There are only two global
         • We must expect attack from
           new providers!
     • HEIs are not alone in feeling
         • Evident in many industries
                –   mergers, takeovers, collapse of
                    some economies
   The certainties:
     • New skills, a possible
       information culture & an
       information rich & poor

                                   World Class?
                               & the ten factors!

 The dictionary defines world class as "ranking
  among the foremost in the world; of an
  international standard of excellence."
   • Fine who decides?

 For universities, world-class standing is built on
  reputation and perception
   • often seen as subjective and uncertain
   • and it requires outstanding performance in many

                Factors (1): Quality of Faculty

   A world-class university will be widely recognised as an
    eminent institution
    • as a place where top staff will wish to congregate and given
        opportunity staff from other universities will migrate towards
    •   In turn top faculty attracts top students.
    •   The process is auto-catalytic

   It is almost certain to be research-intensive
    • it also must educate well; a place where people will want to
        spend time for the experience, and to associate with the
        fame and respect that goes with this

   Academic freedom and an atmosphere of intellectual
    excitement is essential

                               Factors (2): Research
                                Reputation is Critical

   Research will be perceived as excellent
    • it should be seen to deliver worthwhile ‗outcomes‘
    • economic benefit (to region/nation) is to be ‗expected‘

   Research performance should excite and inform the
    learning process for all members of the university
    • i.e. build reputational capital and hence be at jeopardy
        • keep the pressure on those who wish to be seen as the best.

   A university perceived to be world class now ‗may‘ not be
    in the eyes of the next generation
    • Mobility in reputations, as much as with staff and students,
      helps keep the flame alive!

              Factors (3): Importance of a
             Talented Undergraduate Body

 World class institutions will enrol the best of the
   • as in the past, so into the future

 Increasingly students have a choice
  • national and international reputation is a very big edge
  • an edge to be ‗claimed‘ by partaking

 There is a special impact created from having
  thousands of exceptionally talented students
   • a campus buzz!!

             Factors (4): An International

 Universities not constrained by national borders
  • International recruitment of staff and students

 A world shrinking through:
  • globalisation of economies,
  • revolution in international access, real and virtual
  • the opening of minds to international engagement
     • through people networks that interlace study, work, & leisure

              Factors (5): Resourcing is an
                           excellence Issue

 The move to massification in higher education
  has significantly changed the agenda.
   • how the balancing of private and public sourcing for
    university resourcing is handled, largely by
    governments, will have a profound bearing on where
    the world-class universities are based.

 The title of world-class doesn‘t come at a
   • without world-class funding the goal of reaching, and
    preserving high standards is rhetoric alone.

              Factors (6): Multi-Disciplines

 World-class institutions ‗generally‘
  accommodate a large number of disciplines
   • ensures cross-fertilisation of ideas and a frissance
     which comes from the gathering together elite groups

 Multi-disciplinarity offers fertile research
   • Must be bottom-up lead; top down facilitated

              Factors (7): Being Technologically

 World Class institutions are about the discovery
  and transmission of knowledge

 ICT infrastructures now underpin core business
  functions & increasingly impact pedagogy
   • world class institutions will not retain position simply
     by standing still!

                      Factors (8): Excellent
                  Management & Governance

 Eminent institutions excel in research & teaching.
    • However, paralleling and supporting those core
      activities will be an excellence of process management
      underpinned by first-rate administrative systems.
 Good management tensions
     • between collegiality and managerialism.
   Governance: World-class institutions have
    significant internal self-governance
     • but aligned with accountability
     • the control over core elements of academic life must
      rest with the academics

                       Factors (9): The Virtual

 World-class universities view the "virtual
  university" phenomenon with some anxiety
   • it throws open to all comers opportunities

 There are many potential competitors (or
   • virtual attributes, managed carefully, can breathe life
     into strategic alliances, can help bring institutions
     otherwise isolated beyond the critical mass to compete
     in the larger league.

                    Factors (10): Cautions!

 There are choices to be made, and strategies to
  be set, and while it once took centuries to build
  reputation as a university of renown, the
  timeline on this has been collapsed.

 Because the discovery and transmission of
  knowledge is so accelerated, and because there
  is a whole new game plan for collaboration and
  co-operation, as well as competition,
  universities of world-class standing can emerge
  in a matter of decades.

                         Back to the world-class
                       question and Manchester?

   The merger offers opportunity to rethink the strategy for
    IT/IS delivery to meet the needs of the next decade.
    • ‗Green field‘ situation
   The role of information systems is critical to the
    aspirations of the Institution
    • support to teaching & research is critical
    • support to the business function offers real opportunity
   I will highlight the expectations through investment in
    infrastructure and services based on the web!
        • this has to be owned by the Institution as a whole as the costs
          and the risks are enormous.

                  How do we deliver world class IS
                internally to support the business?

   Facilitate a technology empowered, not led, environment
    for the University

   Must grasp opportunities to be a leader, not follower
    • effective deployment of technologies, systems and services
       can facilitate business advantage

   What is required for the next five years?
    • to provide a transparent and seamless interface to teaching,
       research and administrative information services;
        • i.e. it is about integration of information and access to it!

   Information systems offer opportunity to rethink every
    aspect of our business model and business processes.
    • Business process re-engineering supported by high quality
       information systems it will be possible to transform the
       efficiency and effectiveness in support of our core missions.
                                Use every opportunity

   Reorganisation presented an opportunity to:
    • ensure optimal strategic approaches adopted for
        management of all information systems services
    •   organise structures and management responsibilities around
        the services and underpinning architectures
    •   organise for an empowerment culture
         • with devolved responsibility and accountability
    • optimise structures for cost effective but resilient operations
         • Plan for 99.999% availability
    • focus on a customer centric service approach
         • measured against SLA‘s and performance metrics
    • facilitate practical working arrangements
         • between core infrastructure support and service support teams
    • facilitate more seamless change to arising technologies

                What are the considerations?
                       Change management!

   Computing infrastructure underpins the University
    • in almost every area of its operation.
   The rate of change of technologies requires staff to have
    a continuous desire to re-skill – (much easier if you are
    internally research active!).
   The shortening life of technologies/infrastructures makes
    an investment appraisal essential to determine ROI.
    • Must recognise the ‗business‘ opportunities and threats
   The modern IS specialist must be concerned with support
    planning and delivery including training
    • this underpins the provision of knowledge and information in
      electronic form.
   The support requirements are being transformed
    • the user being the ‗owner‘ of the access technologies
    • thus requiring remote and virtual support.

                 An IS architecture to provide
                              an environment:

   Where the IS solutions maximize efficiency and
    effectiveness handling of:
    • routine transactions and access to support
    • creating solutions for less routine but essential transactions
   That facilitates University staff to provide the highest
    levels of customer service
    • whilst maintaining high degrees of job satisfaction
   Where staff have ready access to tools necessary to do
    their job efficiently and effectively
   With simplified processes and policies within constraints
    • acknowledging risks associated with devolved authority
   Rich in services through a single aggregated interface
    accessible from networked devices

                                                  The Principles

   Strive for Simplification
    • Develop tools that can be flexibly applied to reduce the complexity
       of University business processes.
   Enhance Individuals Productivity
    • Provide flexible tools that individuals can use to perform their roles
       more effectively.
   Encourage Collaboration and Common Process
    • alliances with and between stakeholders in process mechanisms in
       order to further the University's goals.
   Empower Technologies as an Investment
    • View IS investment in systems, staff and process as an investment
       that will yield a return in exchange for up-front expenditures with
       full transparency of any assumptions of risk.
   Focus on Outcomes
    • Measure and assess projects and teams by what is accomplished.

                            Base Infrastructures

 24 x 7 & five nines requires major investment
     • Multiple: data centres, networks, power…..
   Enterprise Server architectures
   SANs, NAS, Mirroring…..
     • Lights out computing approach

                             IT Hierarchy of Needs

   World Class IT Infrastructures
   Technical maturity leads to business value
    • Let‘s look at the stack hierarchy

                 The ‘Gateway’ to information
                              and knowledge

 Consolidating & aggregating the delivery of on-
    line information services; integration and
    effectiveness at the data layer
     • self-service, improved access, improved efficiency and
       effectiveness of service.
 Access tailored to individual requirements
    • Authenticate for privileges associated to an individual
   Users will ‗personalize‘ the GateWay
    • creating a relationship with the Institution
    • creating a ‗channel‘ for effective communication
    • the gateway must have knowledge management
       centric to it‘s architecture

                           So: Where does the
                               Web fit in this?

 Increasingly the web has become the vehicle
  which facilitates access
  • with web services undertaking background processing
      to support
 The Context in 2010
  •   The (A5-ish) PDA
  •   WiFI (max)
  •   Simple interfaces
  •   Scribble pad/voice command recognising

                              Getting from two
                                 of everything

 Merger meant we had 2 of every core business
   The decision to procure world-class solutions
    will take several years to deliver but we are well
    on the way!
   Making the interim work but with a plan for the

                              Data Warehousing

 A data warehouse is a copy of transaction data
  specifically structured for querying and
   • The form of the stored data has nothing to do with
    whether something is a data warehouse.

                               The case for Data

 Data warehousing may be implement for all or
  only one of the reasons cited:
   • To support server/disk bound tasks associated with
    querying and reporting; i.e. not used by the
    transaction processing systems
  • Reports require data from multiple systems. The data
    warehouse may contain archival data relevant for
    historical comparison
  • May be used to prevent persons who only need to
    query and report from having any access whatsoever
    to the actual transaction processing system.

                         ERP Enterprise Resource

   ERP integrates key business and management processes
    • ERP tracks company financials, human resources data and (if
        applicable) manufacturing information
    •   The leaders in ERP market share are SAP, PeopleSoft Inc.,
        Oracle Corp., Baan Co. NV and J.D. Edwards & Co.
   ERP was intended to solve the problem of integrating
    Best of Breed systems as software needs to communicate
    across functions.
    • ERP aims to replicate business processes in software, guide
        the employees responsible for those processes through them
        step by step and automate as many procedures as desired.

                                    Has ERP worked?

 Multimillion project failures and successes.
    • The promise of ERP is great but so is the expense
        • time, effort and money.
 Implementing usually involved changing
    business processes
     • Job change is notoriously difficult
     • Only now do we capture best practice and implement
   Requires that executives hone their change
    management skills.
     • With careful planning and lots of effort ERP can work
      and make an enterprise more efficient.

             How long will an ERP project take?

 The important thing is not to focus on how long
  it will take:
   • real transformational ERP efforts usually run between
    one and three years, on average
      • generally we are not managerial institutions so it will
        take longer!

  • but rather to understand why you need it and how you
    will use it to improve your business.

                 Reasons to desire the holy
                               grail of ERP

 Integrated business information
  • ERP creates a single truth re core data that cannot be
    questioned – everyone is using the same system.
 Standardize and speed up business processes
  • business units can standardize processes and using a
    single, integrated computer system can save time,
    increase productivity and reduce head count.
 Systems integration
  • ERP should operate on a ‗single‘ platform with support
    issues assumed by single supplier
 Efficiency
  • Business process should flow more smoothly
                                     Is ERP achievable?

   To date their hasn‘t really been an ERP solution for our
    business domain

   Recent implementations demonstrate software systems
    fail in certain key business processes.

   Many institutions have attempted to procure ERP but
    most have fallen back to best of breed

   Mergers/acquisitions are leading to ERP solutions for
    academia but not embracing online learning

                                                  The Issues

   Needless to say, the move to ERP is a project of
    breathtaking scope
    • the price tags make the most placid FO twitchy; in addition
        to budgeting for software costs, should plan on large
        cheques to cover consulting, process rework, integration
        testing and a long laundry list of other expenses before the
        benefits of ERP start to manifest themselves.

   Underestimating the price beyond the capital cost
    • teaching users their new job processes; failure to consider
        data warehouse integration requirements; the cost of extra
        software to duplicate the old report formats.
    •   a few oversights in the budgeting and planning stage can
        send ERP costs spiralling out of control faster than
        oversights in planning almost any other information system

   The risks
    • It is easier and cheaper to change the business process to
        accommodate the software than modify the software to fit
        the process.
                       What does ERP really cost?

   Too much if you have to ask!
   When will we get payback from ERP—and how much will
    it be?
    • Don't expect to revolutionize your business as evolution is a
        slow process
   What are the hidden costs of ERP?
    •   Training
    •   Integration and testing
    •   Customization
    •   Data conversion
    •   Data analysis
    •   Consultants ad infinitum
    •   Replacing (backfill) your best and brightest – they will be
        needed to undertake the project
    •   Implementation teams can never stop
    •   Post-ERP depression

Top 10 IT Issues

                  Quoting from the survey

 Institutions find themselves forced to deal
  with multiple portal solutions as campus
  ERP and CMS projects result in the
  deployment of multiple portal products.

“campuses confronted with the challenge of
  portal deployment and integration should be
  mindful that this product niche will continue to

                                       Web service issues

   Web services are rising to prominence because they can provide
    long awaited opportunities for applications running on different
    platforms, programmed in a variety of languages, and custom-
    built or vendor-acquired to interoperate and satisfy
    organizational processing requirements.
    • How can Web services provide optimum return on existing
        investments and provide enhanced scalability?
    •   Can the institution make modular/iterative development of Web
        based applications, a hallmark of Web services, sustainable and less
    •   Although Web services and the required standards are still evolving,
        what should we do now to ensure that Web services are an integral
        part of future strategic plans?
    •   What will it take to utilize a Web services approach when developing
        new Web-based applications?
    •   What are the availability and the flexibility of Web services in
        institutional applications?

Hype Cycle – Web Services
             from Gartner

                      Context of the Information

   Ready and immediate access to the worlds information
    • Most new information is created in digital format
    • The pace of digitisation of legacy information is significant
   Access to information provides competitive advantage

   Who isn‘t excited by carrying a device giving ready access
    to the worlds information resources!

          The University Campus model

 Today                        The


     The New campus


                                             Metadata & the
                                              Semantic Web

   Metadata is not a new phenomenon.
    • Metadata, by a different name, has been used for many
       decades to bring order to information collection, access, and
   The desire to move to the Semantic Web will not happen
    by technology alone
        • The semantics will have to come from human consensus and
          agreement on metadata content. This is the metadata ecology.
          Metadata communities will need to be nurtured through this
          process to evolve and fully exploit the underlying technologies.
          Reuse, adoption, and extension of existing core metadata sets
          across communities is also a key enabler of the Semantic Web.

   The future of Metadata is the Internet and the future of
    the Internet is Metadata.

The context continued: 1

The context continued: 2

The context continued: 3


   Exponential Growth in digital information/data
    • Scientific and technical literature is now created in digital form
    • large quantities have been converted to digital retrospectively.
    • Crucial data collections in the social, biological, and physical
        sciences are coming online and becoming remotely accessible
         • modern genome research would be impossible without such databases

   Increasingly powerful data mining techniques
    • are creating greater demand for access to cross-disciplinary data
    •   new knowledge is being discovered in problem areas never intended
        at the time of the original data acquisition.

   Much data is ―preserved‖ in ad hoc and fragmented ways
    • all too often ends up in ―data mortuaries‖ rather than archives.

                             The Manchester Web
                               where is it going?

 The Branding
     • Essential to drive a brand and brand values
   The CMS approach
     • Is it possible to have a CMS and significant devolution?
     • Should a CMS be and end-to-end solution
   The Web is too expensive and too ‗static‘
     • Must be driven from data and information systems
     • Must be knowledge enabled
     • Must deliver to the user expectations

           Information Flows

 What is needed are fluid information flows that
  support the workflows and business processes
   • Yet information technology lags these enterprise
    changes. Laptops, e-mail, remote access, and VPNs
    fall short on many counts—providing complex and
    tortuous access to some applications and some

  • What is needed is an enterprise gateway—one that
    provides not just smart content searches but rather a
    full architecture for users to get to the information,
    applications, and communications tools they need here
    and now to undertake the business.

                What does it facilitate?

   An enterprise portal should allow users to use ‗any‘ Web-
    enabled device to tap into a virtual workspace.
    • The virtual workspace should present or facilitate users with
        all of the file, e-mail, calendar, and collaboration tools along
        with all of the legacy, client/server, and Web-enabled
        enterprise services they need.
    •   It should support access to these applications whether they
        reside in an intranet, an extranet, on the Internet, and
        whether they are hosted by the enterprise or by a service

   An enterprise portal should extend easily to support the
    wave of smart PDAs, cell phones, Internet phones, etc.

                                  The principle

 The key principle is to provide infrastructure
  and services which ensure that information,
  applications, and communications tools are
  accessible in a way that fits how an institution
  and its staff/students actually work, rather than
  forcing the users to adapt work habits to
  technology constraints.

                  Time and Customer-Centricity:
                              Today’s Competitive Weapons

 Customer Centricity
  • We must be customer-centric in every aspect of our
    operations, not just at the traditional customer
  • Information, applications, and communication tools
    are the competitive weapons that successful
    enterprises will use to squeeze time out of the
    equation and to get as close as possible to each
     • But these tools must be aligned with how work actually
       gets done.

                            Who owns the web?

 The web is an enabler and must be owned
  strategically by the Institution!
   • It is no longer the static pages of the W.W.W.
   • It must become cost-effective!

 There must be real vision to its exploitation
 Are you up for the challenge?

“If higher education is about anything, it must be about the
furtherance of knowledge and wisdom, and this requires
going beyond the limitations of what Michael Polyani (1966)
calls “explicit knowledge”—knowledge that can be readily
codified and shared with others—and venturing into the
realm of “tacit knowledge,” or knowledge that is inherently
bound to the experiences, skills, and judgment of a person.
Explicit knowledge can be organized in a database or set
forth in a document; tacit knowledge must be teased out in
the exercise of skills, problem solving, or judgments of an
associational or critical nature. Tacit knowledge is mined
through conversation, not computers; it is inherently
“messy,” requiring dialogue, observation, or storytelling to
be shared with others (Davenport & Prusak, 1998, pp. 81ff.)”.
 From Course Management to Curricular Capabilities: A Capabilities Approach for the Next-Generation CMS
 VAN WEIGEL Educause review May/June 2005
The success of the knowledge century will
depend not on the spread of new technologies
themselves but on the quality of the information
which is made available through them and our
ability to use it wisely.

The challenge to universities is to adapt fast
enough to exploit the opportunities of the
market so that they survive to uphold those

                           THES, Opinion, 22-5-98

Thank You


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