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Developing our information security and digital transformation

Tony Pauley, Warwick's new Chief Information and Digital Officer, introduces his role and the work which is getting underway to further develop our digital and information strategy.

"I’d like to thank everyone for the very warm welcome I have received at Warwick. The people at the University are what really attracted me to the job and it is great now to be part of the Warwick family.

I’ve been in senior technology roles for a long time. Almost all my prior roles have involved delivering large-scale digital transformation programmes during times of extreme uncertainty. The task ahead at Warwick is not an unusual one.

The University has an incredible history of success and the forced changes of the past few weeks have highlighted its strengths when it needs to rise to a challenge. Against the odds, our teams have done a brilliant job, keeping us all working successfully with very few outages. Now, we need to harness this energy and use it as a catalyst to help propel the University forward to be even stronger and more digitally enabled. This type of change can be frightening, but we have shown we can do it.

In order to become a true digital leader, the University must raise the bar in several areas.

We must break down barriers between silos of information and collaborate much more effectively across the University. This will allow us to build common systems and tools with the sum of our knowledge and expertise, accessible by everyone.

We must build a more solid foundation, with security at the core to ensure the safety of our students, staff and research.

Covid-19 has already forced us to streamline our processes and to work in more modern ways; pushing us further along the distance-learning path. It is likely to be with us for a while and as a result we will need to adapt even further. If we take these circumstances as opportunities, we can use this time of change to spring forward and land in a much stronger position than we were before.

If we are to coordinate better and deliver safer systems and tools, we will need much stronger governance structures than have existed in the past. We have already started, with the formation of the University Information Management Executive Committee (UIMEC). The members of UIMEC are senior leaders across the University including our most experienced security experts from the Cyber Security Centre: Professor Carston Maple and Professor Tim Watson. This committee will help the University build more robust structures, starting with the roll out of a new suite of policies to ensure data protection and IT security.

These changes are just the beginning. In the coming weeks I will start building my team, with our primary mission to support all areas of the University to the highest standards. We are here to enable future changes successfully and to provide expertise in a range of specialty areas.

While we all work remotely, I do need your help more than normal. I need you please, to take the advice and precautions provided to work safely at home. This is not only to keep you safe, but to keep our data, staff and students secure against the cyber threats that are increased while we work away from campus. The team has put together a great site for helping guide you through the practical steps to avoid hackers and breaches.

There will be a lot of change in the coming weeks and months. I promise to keep you posted. In the meantime, please do accept my thanks for the warm welcome."

Tony Pauley

Chief Information and Digital Officer

28 April 2020

Tony Pauley, Chief Information and Digital Officer.