UCISA IG15 Conference

Whose infrastructure is it anyway? By Mat Flower, Consultant (Desktops), University of Wolverhampton

This year’s UCISA Infrastructure Group Conference is being held at The Oxford Belfry Hotel, situated near Thame. The hotel is situated in a countryside setting near to the historic university city of Oxford, is only a short distance from the M40 and offers fantastic facilities including a spa, pool and gym as well as plenty of free parking.

We find ourselves in a world where cloud, hosting and the terms IaaS, PaaS and SaaS are now the norm, and it’s no longer a case of ‘why?’ but ‘why not?’ when faced with the question of cloud/hybrid vs. on-premise solutions.  Given this shift, and with it new challenges, I am confident that with IG15: Whose infrastructure is it anyway? we have a conference programme that you will find both engaging and insightful.

Our programme has been put together to reflect this and we are very pleased to have secured speakers from across the sector as well as industry experts. After the formal conference welcome from the UCISA Executive Committee Chair, the opening keynote will be delivered by Dr Alison Vincent, CTO for Cisco (UK&I), who will be telling us why every institution should have a hybrid cloud.  

ABOVE: Mat Flower, Consultant (Desktops), University of Wolverhampton 

Following on from feedback from our inaugural two-day conference, day one will close with our very own Infrastructure Question Time. This lively and interactive debate will be hosted by Adrian Ellison (Director of IT at the University of West London).  Panel members will include Dr Thomas Connor (Senior Lecturer in BioInformatics, Cardiff University), Chris Blenkhorn (Solutions Architect, Cisco) and John Cartwright (Director of Computing Services, University of Liverpool). Equally important is the student viewpoint and so the panel will also include students from both the University of Wolverhampton and the University of Oxford. Questions from delegates are encouraged and don’t forget that you can also tweet your questions using the conference hashtag #igconf15.

‘This year we will be taking the opportunity to give you an insight into the work of the UCISA Infrastructure Group.’ Mat Flower

Day two of IG15 will close with a keynote from Gartner Research, Managing VP, Infrastructure and Operations Analyst, Milind Govekar. The programme will also include sessions where sector colleagues will be sharing their own stories and experiences regarding their journeys to the cloud, as well as subject-focused breakout sessions (including topics such as the UCISA IT Security Management Toolkit and DevOps). There will also be supplier showcase sessions that will be of both interest and relevance to delegates.

We know how valuable you find the opportunity to network at UCISA IG events, and this year there will be ample opportunity to network, with both peers and suppliers, in the supplier exhibition space, at the drinks reception, the conference dinner and, of course, during the breaks.

This year we will be taking the opportunity to give you an insight into the work of the UCISA Infrastructure Group. We are always interested to hear from colleagues interested in becoming more involved with UCISA, so please do not hesitate to come talk to either myself or one of my IG Group colleagues (we’ll be the ones with the purple badges that say ‘Committee’ on them).

Don’t forget to visit the Conference Programme regularly to see how IG15 is shaping up, and you can also follow us via

On behalf of UCISA IG we look forward to seeing you there!   

This year’s UCISA Infrastructure Group Conference takes place on 29 – 30 September 2015 Oxford Belfry, Great Milton.