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Russ Barnes: Director of Enterprise IT Infrastructure

We are delighted to welcome Russ Barnes to the IDG team and recognise it's challenging to join a new organisation during current times. Please extend a warm and supportive welcome to Russ as he gets to grips with this important new role and read his own letter of introduction here.

Hello everyone,

I’m very pleased to have achieved a long-standing personal career ambition by joining Warwick University at the start of this Year. I’ve joined the Information & Digital Group as Director of Enterprise IT Infrastructure, reporting into Tony Pauley. I thought it would be a good idea to say a few words of introduction given I’m not likely to bump into anyone physically any time soon!

I’m sure it’s been said many times, but it really is very abstract and demanding to join a new employer, especially one the sheer size of Warwick, during these difficult times. The simplest tasks are more trying. Building visibility and those critical working relationships will clearly be a challenge: so this is my initial attempt to flag up my existence… Like others, I’m missing those random day-to-day conversations and contacts with people and can’t wait to be having a nice Flat White with some of you in University House - eventually.

I’ve spent a few years elsewhere within HE, most recently at Coventry University as Director of IT Service & Security; so in many respects there are familiar problems, acronyms and processes. Warwick is a unique institution with a global reputation, so there is certainly plenty to go at here. As a world-class research and learning institution, I’m very keen to see where we can take advantage of emerging digital technologies such as Cloud Services, the advancement of Artificial Intelligence and Automation - but I’m absolutely not interested in “IT for IT’s sake”. We need to focus on how and where we can improve outcomes for our academics, researchers, students and professional services staff.

One of the other key components that will get my attention is the security underpinning our infrastructure and services. While the ‘S’ word may not be overtly in my job title any more, physical and virtual information security is now critical for every organisation. We are, like it or not, a digital business and need to be conscious of, build and be compliant with better internal security and protection; working together to ensure we stay safe from growing external threats to our University operations and research bases.

In the meantime, you’ll find me lapping the War Memorial Park at the weekends in a poor attempt at keeping up my 5K time with knees that had a double cartilage operation a couple of years ago (I like to get my excuses in early for the competitive types amongst you) but when we eventually get our full liberties restored, I’m one of the 500+ Park Runners on any given Saturday morning. Stay safe, healthy and in touch in the meantime!

Best regards

Russ Barnes

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