Enterprise Infrastructure Services: A holistic approach to research support at ICTS
UCT eResearch is a virtual service made up of three partners: Information and Communication Technology Services (ICTS), the Research Office and UCT Libraries. ICTS has, through eResearch, supported researchers with their advanced IT requirements since 2014, when UCT eResearch was first established. As this advanced IT support for research grew, so did demand. In 2017, to ensure that ICTS could keep up with the demand coming from the research endeavour, among other things, the divison which housed the IT arm of eResearch was restructured into what is now known as Enterprise Infrastructure Services (EIS).
“Part of the rationale behind the restructuring,” says Andre le Roux, director of EIS, “was that, rather than having a standalone team supporting research, sometimes operating in a vacuum, the resources of the whole EIS division will now be focused on finding and implementing sustainable solutions for research requirements.”
In terms of the new EIS strategy, researchers will continue to engage with the eResearch director and eResearch analyst for their needs. The researcher requirements will then be picked up by the appropriate unit in the EIS division and the full resources of that unit will be devoted to providing the needed infrastructure, services or support.
Dr Dale Peters, eResearch director, explains that the restructuring is aimed at ensuring that research solutions are scaleable and support the greater research endeavour. “Rather than implementing parallel solutions for individual research groups,” she adds, “we are now better able to ensure UCT has the infrastructure, tools and training available to underpin the full cycle of research data.”