“It’s very exciting, I expect to learn a lot,” says Måns Östring after being appointed Acting Chief Information Officer at Uppsala University from 16 October 2023. Photo: Mikael Wallerstedt.2023-10-09
Måns Östring to be Acting Chief Information Officer
Hello there, Måns Östring. You are the newly appointed Acting Chief Information Officer (CIO) from 16 October 2023, when the current CIO Lisbet Holmberg Stark leaves the University.
Are you looking forward to being Acting CIO?
“Yes, it will be fun, really exciting and a great learning experience.”
What makes you suitable to be Acting CIO?
“I believe I can contribute by my understanding of the organisation and its needs. I’m no great technical expert of course – there are plenty of them already at University IT Services (UIT) – but I understand the University and its needs, having been Administrative Director of the Office for Science and Technology. That role has included working on digitisation issues in various projects.
“I’ve also chaired a sub-area in the e-administration organisation, at the interface of needs and IT operations. Along with the present CIO Lisbet Holmberg Stark, I developed the proposal for the needs process within IT operations that is starting now, in autumn 2023.”
What is your view on the reorganisation that IT operations have undergone?
“UIT has come an enormous way through this reorganisation. We have a completely different situation now than when UIT was established in 2019, with far better conditions for delivering good IT services. But it takes a long time to carry out this kind of reorganisation before it’s properly settled.
“Also, the University has a technical debt that needs to be dealt with, a debt that little was known about when UIT was set up. Added to that, security issues have escalated drastically over the past few years. As a result, the University needs to adjust and conduct much more focused and coordinated IT operations in future.”
Do you have any plans for major changes?
“I have no answer to that question. My first priority is to familiarise myself with IT operations and learn more about it all. I have a picture from the needs side and have had insight into IT operations via the IT Committee. Now I need to get to know IT operations thoroughly.
“You have to bear in mind that this is for a period when I am Acting CIO. I’m taking over the baton from the current CIO and carrying it forward with what I can contribute during a six-month period.”
What are your reflections on the digitisation that you worked with from the academic side?
“There are many good initiatives at the University but we have a long way to go in digitisation issues. We’ve partly switched from paper to digital paper, but haven’t really taken in the other consequences of digitisation. How can we use IT to speed up or simplify our work, or improve quality?
“The point of digitisation is often to achieve quality improvements and meet expectations – for example, students expect us to have a learning management system. Digitisation doesn’t necessarily lead to efficiency gains, but it can change where we need to direct our resources. In digitisation projects, it’s also important that the costs are visible, as well as the effort involved in changing working processes, that’s often the major factor.”
The needs process starting this autumn – what’s that all about?
“Hopefully, the needs process will mean better forward management for everyone. This is the first time the University is testing letting the disciplinary domains take stock of their IT needs. The needs process will be a learning process and quite a big responsibility for the disciplinary domains.
“The disciplinary domains, the University Library and the University Administration are due to submit their needs inventories in autumn 2023. Based on their needs, we will then engage in a process of setting priorities in spring 2024 in preparation for work on the operational plan and budget for 2025.”