Standardisation key, says AUT head

Keeping users happy can be challenge when computers number in the dozens. Spare a thought for Wendy Bussen: she has 4500 desktops to maintain over three large sites.

Keeping users happy can be challenge when computers number in the dozens. Spare a thought for Wendy Bussen (pictured): she has 4500 desktops to maintain over three large sites.

Bussen, Auckland University of Technology’s executive director of IT services, says standardisation is key to managing the desktops, 200 file servers and a gigabit network. AUT runs a Novell network system, Novell and some Microsoft servers, and predominantly Windows 2000 and Windows XP on desktops.

“The philosophy always comes back to standardisation,” she says.

She doesn’t agree with those who say standardising on one system creates a weakened “monoculture”. Other operating systems such as Linux are sometimes chosen by users who believe the OS is needed, she says, but they’re expected to operate within the standard environment.

Bussen heads a team of 75 with an annual IT budget of $11 million.

Not surprisingly, she’s a fan of ongoing education for IT professionals.

“At AUT we take professional development extremely seriously,” she says. “We have an organisational commitment to it. As the technology changes, you have to.”

Bussen will speak at the ‘World Famous in Auckland’ breakfast at the Auckland Club on Wednesday morning, organised by the NZ Computer Society.

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