“Changing the engines whilst in full flight”


The old Chinese curse ‘May you live in interesting times’ is now more relevant than ever. As either a curse or a challenge, it is a very relevant perspective on the world of IT. Whereas IT was always deemed a bolt-on to the core operations of an organisation, it has now become the core enabler of everything we are, everything we do, and everything we will do in future. Embracing the role technology plays as an enabler is the gateway to the future of individuals in their private lives, but also to the future of the University as an academic institution.

Over the past five years, ICT has transformed significantly to embrace the role of technology deployment in the UFS. Changes made to our strategic intent, mission, structure, services portfolio and operations have positioned us to meet the challenges of new and emerging technologies head-on. We do not claim to have answers for each and every technological challenge, but we do have the ability to deal with these challenges in a structured manner, given the collateral support of our user community. This is where our business-ICT alignment endeavours become significant and important.

The future of ICT at the UFS hinges on the following 12 key points, also referred to as the strategic objectives of ICT:

  • Strong digital and information security
  • Accountable ICT governance and compliance management
  • Ensuring digital infrastructure health and stability
  • Effective corporate data management
  • Pre-emptive digital innovation and enablement
  • Effective business-ICT alignment
  • Operational integrity and service excellence
  • Effective management and mitigation of ICT risks
  • Effective programme and project management
  • Sound financial management
  • Effective people management
  • Cross-cutting ICT quality management

Whereas the first six strategic objectives are outward-looking and aim to enforce and re-enforce the role of ICT in the organisation, the last six objectives are geared towards strengthening ICT as a key service provider to the UFS user and business community.

The emphasis placed on the effective management of digital security, governance and data is significant. These aspects have become critical gateways for the organisation as a whole and although they are not easy to achieve, they are also key drivers for organisational change. It is here that the partnership between business and ICT becomes relevant and very important.

We are all in it together, and this is where the curse becomes a challenge. Enjoy our collective journey – after all, it remains fun and a good alternative way to spend your working day. Make technology work for you, and ask us to assist you in getting there.

Finally – welcome to our new web presence. We’ve tried to open up the world of IT to the UFS community. You’ll find that we are exposing the ‘internals’ of ICT by revealing and publishing more of what we do, how we approach ‘stuff’ and how we ‘deal’ (in a nice way) with our community in a structured manner. We welcome your input, your recommendations and critique. All of this makes us better and guides our internal journey.


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