Centre for information systems (CIS) provides and manages reliable IT services and resources that are aligned with best practice and international standards to help SQU achieve its vision and objectives. This ranges from providing basic technical support on troubleshooting PC problems all the way to automating business processes and looking after the infrastructure that enables the provision of reliable and secure electronic systems. Examples of these services include:
- Daily, offer its services for more than 25000 users (students, staff, visitors, contractors …).
- Host all SQU data (HR, Finance, Students, research, …)
- Provide HW and SW resources and support
- Provide internet, email, video conferencing, E-Learning, user storage, …
- Provide IT solutions for administrative, teaching and research proposes
- Protect SQU IT assets.
These services – and others – are grouped into three main verticals:
CIS provide all the end user computing facilities for SQU students, staff and visitors. This includes provision of different forms of computers (PCs, Workstations, laptops, tablets, printers, scanners …) at different locations (offices, classrooms, teaching labs, research labs …). These machines are loaded with software solutions necessary for the business needs and are kept up to date with latest operating systems, anti-virus solutions and always connected to the internet. Users receive technical support for any computing related issues directly from CIS or from technicians at different units in SQU. This is done via different channels including visits to CIS service desk, phone calls, and electronic services.
CIS is responsible for all provided electronic systems and e-services. As any other software development houses, CIS is engaged in every phase of software development lifecycle (SDLC). There is an information systems and e-services vertical in CIS hierarchy, in which there are three divisions that are responsible for software development.
SQU being an academic institution having colleges, deanships, research centers and other supporting and administrative units, community is large and there is different stakeholders. Thus, there is a variety of required software in terms of business requirements and development technology. In addition, there is a demand in software acquisitions. On the other hand, information technology is in continuous evolution. As a result, it is crucial having different professionals such as business analysts and software developers, and software testers to analyze the requirements, develop applications and test the software functionalities respectively. All of this in place, and in order to fulfill SQU requirements, CIS must take into consideration, whenever a software is required, all above-mentioned inputs to ensure the effectiveness and efficiency of provided software.
CIS is responsible for designing, implementing, managing, monitoring and maintaining different hardware and software systems and resources which providedata center infrastructure and databases, wire and wire-less networking and network services for all information technologies that form SQU network and its IT services. Particularly we take care of the data center, its environment, computing and storage resources, wired and wireless network, network services such as e-mail system, Internet and internal network configuration systems such as Active Directory System AD and Domain Management System.
Information Security is a very important aspect in all services provided by the CIS and great deal of attention is devoted to make sure that all SQU IT assets are protected against inappropriate access and usage. Therefore, CIS takes a three-phases approach towards information security, which can be summarized as follows:
- Preventive: We take necessary action to prevent security threats from happening in the first place. Some of the actions include scanning web applications before publishing them, running awareness programs, regular security checks of systems, applications and equipment and setting the security requirements.
- Detective: while providing IT services, security vulnerabilities may occur for different reasons. Therefore, CIS executes a number of tasks to detect any security vulnerability. This includes, monitoring the network activities, assessing virus hits at SQU network and track internal and external security attacks.
- Corrective: after any security incident, CIS strives to mitigate and correct any effects of the incident. This involves modifications on management resources and network devices and studying and assessing log files.