Senior IS executive: Gerrit Bahlman, chief information officer Reports to: General manager strategy and finance
Size of IS shop: 97
Mobile PCs: 1000
Hand-held devices: 50
Total screens: 8966
Industry: Education services
PC environment: Apple Mac; Linux; Windows 2000, XP; HP;
Server environment: Apple; Linux; VMS; Windows 2000, 2003; HP
Intel-based; HP Others; IBM
DBMS: SQL, Ingres, Oracle
Address: Highway 57, Palmerston North
Key IS projects this year: Disaster recovery data centre and associated
storage and archiving facilities; server virtualisation.
MASSEY UNIVERSITY HAS three major campuses in Palmerston North,
Wellington and Albany in Auckland, and caters for some 38,000 local
and international students of which approximately 18,000 students
study by distance education.
The three-college structure provides a diversity of degrees, diplomas
and certifi cates. Massey University specialises in the fi elds of sciences,
agriculture, creative arts, humanities and social sciences, education
and business — having the biggest business college in New Zealand.
Gerrit Bahlman, chief information officer for Massey University,
heads a team of 97. He says Massey has a strong focus on research
and research-led teaching and encouraging success at a postgraduate
level. Leading edge research is undertaken on all three campuses
and the university has invested in equipment in support of its commitment
to research. This includes high performance computing, Nuclear
Magnetic Resonance Spectrometry, advanced research data networking
and a variety of collaboration technologies.
A major upgrade of the core network of the university was completed
in 2007, as was the rollout of a consolidated printing and photocopying
environment and a full refresh of all undergraduate computer laboratory
While Massey does selectively outsource a number of ICT function
areas, Bahlman says there is growing concern outsource suppliers are
stretched and unable to provide the level of service necessary to pursue
such strategies. He says mergers and acquisitions result in smaller,
highly-focused providers being swallowed within larger cultures that
do not understand the nature of the business. This introduces risk into
the outsource environment.
“The larger the IT provider, the further removed their management
is from context-sensitive service delivery. In general, the quality of
service provision lowers as the size of the IT provider increases. Large
organisations cannot provide an intimate, long-term understanding of
their smaller customer needs,” says Bahlman.
As with most educational institutions, the online environment
continues to be an important channel for Massey University. Current
online services include enrollment, full registration, record information
access, payment and universal email. Internal administration on the
web provides academic and general staff with access to online support
structures and services.
Other key IT projects in 2008 include investment in a disaster recovery
data centre and associated storage and archiving facilities. Massey
University continues to investigate CRM and unified communication
technologies, and to pursue efficiencies gained through server virtualisation
and consolidation strategies.
ICT concerns for the coming 12 months include staffing and workforce
planning in the face of a labour market skills shortage, and emerging
and existing issues surrounding data security.