Role of the IT contact person in your office
CLCs should have ownership of their IT administration. The best way to achieve this is to give a staff member an IT administration role and an appropriate amount of time. This role could be given to an existing staff member and would involve 1 to 2 days work per week. We call this role the IT contact person.
About the role
The role is primarily administrative rather than being a hands-on technical role. This IT contact person acts as a liaison between staff and external IT providers.
The IT contact person undertakes:
- developing an ICT plan for the centre
- engaging and managing external providers
- developing and maintaining ICT policies, protocols and procedures
- managing the electronic filing system
- setting up shared stationery templates (such as letterheads)
- managing data backup and risk recovery
- assessing budget and resource needs for ICT
- making purchasing decisions
- assessing ICT training needs for other staff.
See also ICT contact person job description.
Developing an ICT plan
An ICT plan will ensure that your centre’s use of ICT efficiently and effectively assists the centre in attending to core business. After a plan is developed, it should updated as needed to reflect the current organisational objectives.
Engaging and managing external providers
Having the IT contact person engage and manage external providers means:
There is one person for providers to talk to.
Someone is aware of the status of IT projects or support requests and can explain progress to staff (they should communicate regularly with both providers and staff).
You can establish expectations with providers.
You can manage each ICT issue as a project.
You can do things on your terms.
See also Managing your IT support provider.
Developing and maintaining policies
Managing the electronic filing system
Managing the shared electronic filing system is not a role for an IT support provider. It has more to do with information management than technology.
See the sample policy in the Templates and sample policies section.
Setting up shared stationery templates
The ICT contact person can establish a consistent centre-wide house style for letterheads and other stationery by setting up shared templates.
Managing data backup and risk recovery
The technical aspects of backup is a responsibility of an IT support provider. However, the IT contact person would have an understanding of how it works, and what would happen if data was lost.
Assessing budget and resource needs
The IT contact person can oversee the replacement of hardware and software in line with an established 'replacement policy', costs for staff and external providers, training and new projects (e.g. database or website developments).
Making purchasing decisions
The IT contact person can make decisions about purchasing hardware and software in consultation with other staff, external providers and suppliers.
Assessing training needs
As with purchasing decisions, the IT contact person can assess staff training needs in consultation with others.