Newsletter: The next business case

by | Aug 20, 2018 | Uncategorised | 0 comments

Our major focus over the next few weeks is the preparation of the first 2018/19 business case for submission in September. We’re also still looking for participants for our Research Support Professions focus group events on 29 and 30 August.

The 2018/19 business case

This business case covers those items for which we don’t need to do further engagement with the research community – given that it’s peak holiday season.

The change projects that this particular business case will cover are:

  • Incrementally build compute capacity & provide orchestration
    High level outline IT design component only. There will be significant researcher engagement from September to November 2018 to determine the 2018/19 investments in the areas of High Intensity Compute, Graphics Processing Units and Virtual Machines, before the submission of a business case in December 2018.
  • Streamline procurement of cloud solutions through framework agreements
    To drive out cost efficiencies through aggregation of cloud spend across the University and access better rates through framework agreements.
  • Research IT strategy and research IT architecture
    As there has historically been a limited investment in development of a coherent IT strategy and architecture for research making it more difficult to communicate the vision, guiding principles and key decisions are needed to deliver the wider Research Lifecycle programme.
  • Design a research IT innovation community
    To establish a new capability for researchers and Research IT to collaborate and share approaches which could be more widely deployed.

The work on the business case will be intense to ensure it has passed through all the appropriate governance stages:

Research Lifecycle Programme board Monday, 3 September
Research IT Strategy and Change Management Board Tuesday, 4 September
IT Governance Group Wednesday, 5 September
IT Director review Monday, 10 September
Change and IT Projects Subcommittee (funding approval) Tuesday, 18 September

If you have any comments or input you would like to make on these change projects, please contact Angus Hearmon, Research Lifecycle Programme Director, at

Going forward we will be taking two further 18/19 business cases to the Change and IT Projects Subcommittee:

November 2018:

  • Implement a costings approach and tool, to improve Manchester’s ability to accurately and consistently cost all research activity and monitor this throughout the duration of a project

December 2018:

  • Incrementally build compute capacity & provide orchestration (hardware investment)
  • Define and build Manchester’s research support professions, to improve performance, morale and effectiveness of people working to support research including by treating central and faculty/school-based roles in Research IT, Research Data Management and Research Support as professions at the University, and putting in place tools to support this
  • Facilitate Research networking and collaboration, to enable better, higher impact research with better use of resources and data
  • Develop services to manage restricted data, to add to capabilities that enable researchers to run projects that handle confidential or personal information that is protected by lay and/or policy and requires the highest levels of access control and security protection whether in storage or transition


The Research Lifecycle Programme aims to build and define research support professions across the University.

In order to define the parameters and scope of the project, your input is highly valuable. The project team will be running 3 focus groups and aims to capture your input on a variety of topics.

Each focus group is of a two-hour duration and will comprise of 21 participants split into teams of 7. The dates and time for the focus groups are:

  • Thursday, 23 August (now fully booked)
  • Wednesday, 29 August at 10:30am
  • Thursday, 30 August at 10:30am

To sign up, please click on the link below and fill in your details for the session you would like to attend:


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