Interview: University of Huddersfield, UK IT Industry Awards finalist

'As an organisation, we encourage our employees to innovate and to work together to develop new products and services'

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Krish Pilicudale, Director of Digital Information, University of Huddersfield
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Krish Pilicudale, Director of Digital Information, University of Huddersfield

Information technology is a vital part of modern businesses today, helping all corporate sectors to achieve goals, generate revenue, and reduce inefficiencies.

The UK IT Industry Awards are the largest and most well-known event in the technology industry calendar. Owned and operated by BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT and Computing, the awards enjoy a level of professionalism and industry knowledge not seen at other shows.

This year's winners will be announced at a live awards ceremony on Wednesday 8th November in London.

The University of Huddersfield has reached the shortlist for two categories: Innovation of the Year and Technology Refresh Project of the Year.

We caught up with Krish Pilicudale, Director of Digital Information at University of Huddersfield, to ask him more about his organisation's priorities for the next 12 months.

Krish is an accomplished senior digital transformational leader with a track record of successfully leading, facilitating, and delivering business and technology change initiatives for higher education. As the director of digital information, Krish is responsible for delivering a range of services to the University - including the central IT function and library services, and the delivery of initiatives to improve student experience and efficiencies through streamlined business processes with robust technical and architectural foundation.

Krish holds Management (MBA) and Computer Science (MSc) degrees, is a Certified Enterprise Architect (TOGAF), ITIL Intermediate in IT Continual Service Improvement, Chartered Manager and Fellow of the CMI.

Computing: Please provide some background on your company for our readers.

Krish Pilicudale: The multi-award-winning University of Huddersfield is a centre of research and excellence. Located in one of the largest towns in the North of England, almost 20,000 students choose to study at Huddersfield due to our commitment to high standards of teaching and learning, as well as excellent facilities at our modern, town centre campus. Our academic staff rank in the top three in England for the proportion who hold doctorates, have higher degrees and hold teaching qualifications and we are proud to have world-leading applied research groups in biomedical sciences, engineering and physical sciences, social sciences and arts and humanities. The University is supported by professional services staff across nine services, of which Computing and Library Services is one of the largest.

What make you different from other technology organisations?

The University of Huddersfield is different from other technology organisations in several ways. Firstly, we have University senior executives as sponsors complemented with technical subject matter experts, which allows us to deliver complex changes at a much faster pace than our competitors. Secondly, we are committed to using technology to solve real-world problems and to deliver an excellent experience to our customers. Finally, we have a strong culture of innovation and collaboration, working together with stakeholders to deliver positive outcomes.

As an organisation, we encourage our employees to innovate and to work together to develop new products and services. We believe that these factors make us unique. We are committed to using our technology and our expertise to make a positive impact on our students and staff.

What one company achievement in the last 12 months are you most proud of?

The University of Huddersfield is delighted to have been awarded an outstanding gold rating in the Office for Students' latest Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF). This is the highest accolade attainable and reflects the University's unwavering commitment to providing an exceptional student experience and fostering excellent student outcomes.

We are proud to have achieved excellent responses in recent surveys, such as the JISC Digital Insights survey, where the University scored ahead of the sector average for overall digital satisfaction, and in the National Student Survey, where the University scored in the top quartile for learning resources and assessment and feedback.

What are you working on this year?

One of the most exciting developments is the creation of our National Health and Innovation Campus. This transformative project will improve health outcomes and lead innovation in healthcare for the North of England, the UK and internationally. The campus will enable the rapid expansion of courses in nursing, midwifery, allied health professionals, leadership and human sciences. The development will also benefit the local community, delivering a major boost to the regeneration of the town centre as well as the creation of new jobs. Technology is at the heart of this new campus, and we will be working on implementing a modern network along with modern AV supporting teaching and learning. The campus will also be a hub for technology and innovation with state-of-the-art facilities for teaching and research. As many other organisations are, we are also exploring the use of Gen AI.

Why are events like the UK IT Industry Awards important to the IT industry?

Events like the UK IT Industry Awards provide important recognition for the triumphs, innovation and talent of individuals and organisations. The UK IT Industry Awards also encourages and promotes excellence in the sector and recognises the ongoing impact and advancements that technology provides to the customer and the wider community.

The UK IT Industry Awards will take place on 8th November in London. Click here to view the shortlist and here to book your table.

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