| Introduction :
AIOU attempts to use technology to realize its mission; special focus has been given to Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to reach out to as many students as possible and to eliminate the time space barriers between teachers and student to use ICT for strengthening of administrative & servicing departments in order to compete industry.
The Information and Communication Technology Directorate of Allama Iqbal Open University is mandated to provide IT standards, guidelines and policy, strategic plan, and development in the University. ICT Directorate maintains oversight for matters delegated under this jurisdiction, and acts authoritatively within the scope of established policies, procedures and guidelines for its operations. Directorate of ICT's responsibilities and authority have evolved since its creation. Directorate of ICT strives to provide dedicated Services to Staff, Students, Researchers, Faculty, Administration and Management. These specific services include:
� Develop, implement, and manage network to provide a more robust, efficient, and secure University wide infrastructure;
� Provide enhanced and expanded telecommunications services to meet the growing needs of departments and units in the University;
� Assist departments and units in providing secure, reliable, University wide IT operations;
� Promote cyber- and network security through managed & secure network.
� Negotiate and manage University wide agreements for quality IT products and services to reduce the cost and increase the value of hardware, software, and services;
� Develop and implement an enterprise architecture for AIOU that results in rules and standards for information technology;
� Provide mapping, and selective benchmarking efforts that are guided by a clear vision and goals to make policymaking more focused, effective and user driven.
� To Promote Innovative Use of Information Technology that Adds Value to the academic environment
� To protect Technology and Information Assets.
Sections of Directorate of ICT
In order to facilitate students, administration & faculty and to provide ICT services more efficiently directorate of ICT is further divided into following sections.
� Director Office
� Software Development
� Video Conferencing
� ICT Support Services
| Objectives :
With a view to provide efficient services for its Students, Tutors & Faculty, AIOU has established new departments and �Directorate of Information & Communication Technology� is one important new department among those. This department has been established with following objectives.
This department has been established with following objectives.
1. Technological transformation of AIOU into a modern Open Distance Learning University.
2. Electronic media development to support Open Distance Learning.
3. Online support services for Academic & Administrative functions.
4. To provide further support to the students and tutors of the university.
5. To upgrade students� support services efficiently and effectively with the help of ICT and other modern technologies.
Under the light of above objectives, the Directorate intends to indulge in following forward going activities:
� Establishment of world class tier 3 ready data centre with DR sites interconnected via secure VPN connections.
� Acquire high speed global connectivity to facilitate the research, e-Learning and student support services.
� Establishment of in-house software development arrangement (Al-Kasib) to cater the software needs of the university as well as provide hands on learning opportunities to our CS/IT students.
� Establishment of Management Information System to provide better support services to university staff as well as students.
� Establishment of Decision Support System for better understanding/assessment and improve the quality of services.
By effectively establishing above support services and facilities following stakeholders will be benefited:
Stakeholders of ICT Services
Academics: Innovative ICT for academic researchers e.g. High Performance/Availability Computing, high‐speed networks, data centre & data repositories for Teaching, e‐learning, audio visual, lecture recording & streaming and access to commercial IT applications. This will streamline and ultimately increase potential of academicians for innovative research and increasingly collaborate across continents. The directorate will play pivotal role in researching and enabling e-assessment to further facilitate both the academics and students.
Students: Availability of innovative ICT resources like low bandwidth learning content, android apps, collaborative tools for Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) directly on their handheld devices. Good, innovative ICT is a positive draw for students to enhance their experience and optimise their employment prospects.
Servicing and administrative staff: With the help of cutting edge ICT Servicing and administrative staff will utilise more efficient processes and procedures. They will be able to mine and analyse the university�s data assets with ease and in real time to more effectively manage the university and reduce its running costs.
Collaborators including prospective students, staff and research funders and Alumni will get access to university�s ICT resources e.g. networks, web and searching, self‐service applications, Continuing Professional Development (CPD), i‐recruitment, funding underprivileged students etc. To assist the university�s agenda of taking education facilities to masses belonging to even the farthest corners of the country, ICT will continue to provide and extend collaboration tools e.g. video‐ conferencing, data exchange and support Innovations.
Strategic Activities: The service support activities summarized in the table below are part of a vision continuum undertaken by Directorate of ICT. The Directorate of ICT will continuously revisit and update the priorities under the guidance of able leadership of the worthy Vice Chancellor, to match activities, priorities and costs with the latest trends and requirements of the country�s academic community.