The Annual Report of Information Technology Services 2014-2015 is now accessible on our website at http://www.its.hku.hk/about/annual-reports. Its Executive Summary is extracted below which summarizes the projects, achievements and contributions of ITS in the past year.
As the end of 2015 is approaching, may I take this opportunity to wish all colleagues and students a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
P T Ho
Director of Information Technology Services
Tel: 3549 5223
Executive Summary of Annual Report of Information Technology Service 2014-2015
Information Technology Services (ITS) continued providing high-quality IT supports and services during the reported year in alignment with University’s mission and strategic priorities. Our efforts across all campuses helped to enhance the physical as well as the digital/electronic learning environments and systems for supporting teaching and learning, advance research and innovation through new computing systems, and to support knowledge exchange and improve the online student and staff administrative systems. We also worked to maintain and enhance the security, resilience and other aspects of the University’s IT infrastructure, always with the goal of providing quality services from the perspective of users’ experience.
Enhancing students’ learning experience was a notable aspect of our achievements during the year. In close cooperation with the Estates Office, we completed the refurbishments and facility enhancements for eight large lecture theatres in the Main Campus. For the Moodle learning management system that has been in its third year of operation, a new assignment deadline notification function was added, among other features improved through the continual upgrading of the Moodle platform. The Panopto lecture capture system was also upgraded. To promote possible uses of technology in education, the second Teaching and Learning (T&L) Showcase Exhibition was organized to highlight how the University’s advanced facilities could help and innovate in effective teaching and learning.
While utilization of the University’s 12-TFLOP GRIDPOINT High-Performance Computing (HPC) facility was approaching saturation, ITS successfully completed the installation of the new 100+ TFLOP HPC2015 system which is equipped with the latest technology advancements for supporting cutting-edge researches. The High-Throughput Computing (HTC) system set up in 2014 that drew on the unused power of the student PCs in the Learning Commons continued to provide valuable addition of research computing capacity in the year.
We are also very pleased to report that our efforts in web accessibility and usability were well recognised in the Web Accessibility Recognition Scheme 2015 that was co-organised by the Office of the Government Chief Information Officer and the Equal Opportunities Commission. Both the ITS website and the eLearning support website were honoured with the Gold Awards in the Scheme.
The University’s business systems, including the Student Information System (SIS) and the Human Capital Management System (HCMS), have undergone a number of enhancements to align with new business needs as well as to improve their functionalities and user-friendliness. Key changes in SIS included the implementation of a degree audit tool for checking the fulfilment of degree requirements and a new workflow system for student credit transfer applications. A major revamp of the Performance Review and Staff Development system for non-academic staff was conducted and a new set of evaluation forms and a new performance rating scheme were put in place.
We continued to contribute heavily to the University’s enabling IT platform through our ongoing work on the provision of campus network, Wi-Fi and IP telephony services to the many newly renovated offices across the University’s campuses. The uPrint cloud printing solution and the email systems for staff and students had been enhanced through system upgrades and consolidation. To address the trend of increasing information security threats led by the proliferation of cyberattacks world-wide, substantial efforts were put into developing measures for enhancing the information security protection in all related aspects, including the protection and surveillance technologies, system management standards, user awareness, practicing rules and University-wide policies.
To promote modern means of efficient communications aided by technology advancements, ITS rolled out a sharable new high-definition, multi-party video-conferencing system which 19 departments had used in year 2014-2015. We also started implementing the Skype for Business 2015 service platform that should be ready for serving HKU staff community by late 2015.
For the organization management within ITS, aiming at the provision and delivery of quality IT services to the University community, we embarked on the establishment of a quality management process for formulating ITS policies, rules and standards of practices, and for enforcing the adoption of the established professional standards by users.