What's New in IT Services – September 2023

A lot’s been happening behind the scenes in IT recently. Here are just a few of the latest developments. 

Leeds Digital Festival 

The Leeds Digital Festival is taking place between 18 and 29 September. 

The event, which is sponsored by the University, sees colleagues across the University showcasing their digital expertise as part of a packed programme for the largest tech event in the UK.

Digital Transformation is at the heart of everything we do, and so IT were involved in various sessions including (but not limited to) Sharpening the cutting edge: Research Computing at the University of Leeds and a look at the University Data Strategy and Service with Chief Data Officer Monica Jones. 

The festival also gives visitors an opportunity to explore HELIX – the new digital innovation space in the E C Stoner building, complete with virtual reality equipment, podcasting and other interactive technologies designed to give staff and students a hub to explore new ideas. 

You can find out more about the University’s involvement in Leeds Digital Festival on the For Staff site. 

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SAP migration 

In December we're planning to move SAP, the University’s Purchasing, Human Resource and Finance system, to cloud-based servers to improve security and reliability, but you shouldn't notice any difference to the way you access or use it. If you have any questions about how this may affect you, please email SAPmigration@leeds.ac.uk.    

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Identity and Access Management (IDAM) update 

Following the all staff email updating on the Identity and Access Management (IDAM) project in August, we’re happy to report that we have continued to make some great progress towards decommissioning the Leeds University Registry and Certificate Issuing System (LURCIS), the legacy system we have been using for a number of years to process IT access for staff and students as they join and leave the University. 

This years’ student intake is the last to be using this system. In the very near future we’ll be looking to start implementing the new process for new staff joiners, followed over the ensuing weeks by student joiners and various other functions from LURCIS. 

We’ve been working with colleagues in HR and student-facing teams to ensure the move over to our new system (IdentityNow) is as smooth as possible. 

The aim is to have everything transferred over to the new system by the end of November so we can start to decommission LURCIS. 

In the meantime, you can find out more about the IDAM project on the IT website. We also covered various questions about it in the most recent IT Open Meeting in August

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Cybersecurity month 

For the last 10 years, October has been European Cybersecurity month. Given that cyber-attacks can happen at any time, the approach has changed with year-round messages and October still being used to highlight key themes. 

The themes for 2023 are phishing and ransomware. We’ll be sharing useful tips on both topics on X, formerly Twitter, so please keep an eye out! 

You can also find out more about cyber security awareness – including mandatory training for staff – on the IT website. 

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What’s New: July 2002 

We’ve hopped in the time machine again to see what was going on in a previous departmental update. 

In July 2002, IT Services – then called Information Systems Services (ISS) – were looking at helping to move the Regional Support Centre for Yorkshire and Humber into Beech Grove House over the summer. 

The Regional Support Centre, which had been dispersed up to that point, was funded by the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) to provide IT support to the region’s Further Education and Sixth Form colleges.  

In other news, the department was also undergoing something of a change period, with an update on various people having been consulted about changes to roles, and various Clusters around campus were in the process of being refurbished.  

Perhaps the biggest news was the start of a major drive to improve electronic security, data backup and data recovery following an audit in order “[t]o maintain the availability, integrity and confidentiality of the data” the University holds and processes.  

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