While making the leap from an IT job in banking to one in the education sector may seem like quite a transition, the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology’s (RMIT) executive director of IT services, Brian Clark, says the two sectors are more similar than people may realise.
Clark, who began working at the university six months ago, says his time working with ANZ as the Asia Pacific regional manager for IT prepared him for stepping into the education space.
“Having spent 10 years in financial services [and then] coming to the university, I thought I would find it challenging moving from a banking role into an education based one,” Clark says.
“What I’ve found is that the challenges are quite similar; once you get into [any] larger organisation, the challenges are around data, information management, end user technology use and getting technology to work day in and day out.”
While many aspects of his job are similar to those of his role at ANZ, Clark says the research function of the university was something he wasn’t used to incorporating into his IT plans.
“One of the challenges is supporting the research side of the organisation while contrasting that with SAP, PeopleSoft and information management systems,” he says.
“Previously, everything here was managed as if they were mission critical enterprise applications, and the reality is researchers need more flexibility than that.
“In banking, everything is mission critical, but here you have more segmentation between different areas of the university.”
After three months at RMIT, Clark announced he would look to either Google’s Gmail or Microsoft’s Live@edu hosted solutions for student email under competitive tender; a plan that has resulted in Clark this week moving RMIT’s students to Google Apps for Education and Gmail.
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