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Platforms & Services Manager

Requisition ID:  9602

Newcastle, GB

Contract Type:  Open Ended
Working Pattern:  Full Time
Posted Date:  10-Sep-2021


We are a world class research-intensive university. We deliver teaching and learning of the highest quality. We play a leading role in economic, social and cultural development of the North East of England. Attracting and retaining high-calibre people is fundamental to our continued success.


Salary: £42,149.00 - £50,296.00  per annum

Closing Date: 29 September 2021




The Role


This is a rare and exciting opportunity to lead the Platforms and Services team at Newcastle University.  You will be responsible for managing and leading a team of subject matter experts in the design, implementation and support of the infrastructure that underpins the University’s critical services. Reporting to the Head of Infrastructure you will have the opportunity to implement cutting edge technology to meet the needs of the University’s stakeholders while ensuring operations run smoothly and staff remain engaged and motivated.  You will act as a point of escalation and provide subject matter expertise to guide and shape the operational efficiency of the Platform and Service team. 


You will be accountable for the Platforms and Services hosted in a hybrid environment spread between our datacentres here in the UK, Malaysia and Cloud services provided in Microsoft 365 and Azure. To support continued professional development, you will be encouraged to participate in conferences and other networking activities, such as attendance at Microsoft events, Special Interest Groups, and Vendor roadmaps. This rewarding and challenging post will provide an opportunity to work in a personable, varied, and richly collaborative environment, adding value to your career path by providing exposure to large enterprise IT at the cutting edge of research and teaching.


Informal enquiries can be made to Gary Atkinson, Head of Infrastructure, at Gary.Atkinson@newcastle.ac.uk.


Over the last 18 months, we have reimagined the way we deliver our University IT Services, forming a world-class IT department responsive to the needs of our global community. We’re growing significantly and we’ve created new opportunities and made changes to how we work. Our people have been at the centre of this change, with a particular focus on development and opportunities to learn new skills. Our people have been at the centre of this change, and we are now investing in further knowledge and experience to ensure we have the skills required to serve the complex demands of our world-leading University.


The University is an exciting and dynamic place to work, dedicated to learning and research. You will be based on campus in the centre of Newcastle and have access to fantastic resources on-site and the opportunity to attend relevant conferences and training courses. Benefits include excellent pension; 30 days holiday, 8 bank holidays plus an additional 4 discretionary closure days over the Christmas and New Year; discounted travel for the Metro and local bus services; and discounts for national retailers.


Key Accountabilities


  • Leadership and management of a team of IT professionals, accountable for the delivery of enterprise wide systems and services which underpin IT for learning teaching and research across all faculties and professional support departments
  • Influence and implement technologies to support the successful delivery of the goals identified in the IT strategy.  Plan appropriate resource and ensure skill set availability
  • Create and maintain a Technology Roadmap for the Platforms & Services area to clearly indicate areas of risk, show upgrade paths and timelines and feed into overall NUIT planning processes.  Own the technology landscape within the scope of this area, be a subject matter expert (SME), and have a deep understanding of current and future technologies
  • Take responsibility for all service provision within this team, ensure there are systems and processes to deliver the required level of support and to recover from support issues as quickly as possible. Ensure cost-effective delivery of platforms and services to meet University needs and respond with the agility required to address changing business priorities
  • Lead the team to ensure they are motivated, engaged and have personal development plans, carry out annual appraisals and ensure there is a people plan for the whole team
  • Ensure that the work of the team is properly prioritised, resourced, managed and executed efficiently and effectively
  • Engage with stakeholders across NUIT and the University to build and maintain good working relationships and ensure there is a clear understanding of University requirements within the team
  • Ensure that all necessary proactive and reactive processes and procedures are in place – including for example, performance monitoring and tuning; load balancing; major software or hardware upgrade; installation and configuration; disaster recovery planning and management; contingency planning and any other activities required to ensure service continuity and effectiveness
  • Act as a trusted advisor, building robust and collaborative relationships with other IT and University leaders to develop a clear understanding of business needs
  • Lead on any project or change related activity as part of wider NUIT or NU project teams
  • Manage the budget (people and third party spend) assigned to this area
  • Champion the team’s involvement in the IT organisation's innovation efforts and its role in experimenting with new solutions to take advantage of business opportunities
  • Be responsible for developing best-practise policies, standards, procedures and guidelines for management of NUIT platforms and services, guided by NUIT standards and other stakeholders
  • Any other reasonable duties that fall within the scope of the post, as allocated by the line manager


The Person (Essential)

Knowledge, Skills and Experience


  • Extensive Technical background in our core technologies including physical and virtualised server management, Windows, UNIX / UNIX like, Azure cloud services, SQL database management, Windows and UNIX / UNIX like user administration
  • Experience of supporting and delivering Platforms & services in a complex and geographically diverse organisation
  • Experience of working with third party vendors and delivering an effective service using their services
  • Experience of working with Information Security teams and other governance groups to ensure that University assets are protected from internal and external attacks.  A working knowledge of Cybersecurity processes and practices is essential


Attributes and Behaviour


  • Develops plans that meet the architecture/technology needs of the organisation
  • Incorporates business priorities, strategies, goals, emerging technologies, industry trends and economic viability
  • Solicits advice, support, championship, sponsorship and commitment from key stakeholders for the success of their team and work
  • Communicates ideas or positions in a persuasive manner that builds support, agreement or commitment
  • Builds both formal and informal professional networks, and extends these networks within, across and external to organizational boundaries
  • Encourages and facilitates collaboration, cooperation and results
  • Inspires, motivates and guides team members
  • Acts as the organizational change agent for improving maturity and practices, in support of University goals and strategy
  • Mobilizes others within and outside of their team to support and enable change efforts
  • Sets and accomplishes challenging goals
  • Defines standards in terms of doing what is appropriate and doing it well
  • Leads by example in delivering high quality outcomes that they take responsibility for




  • A bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience
  • A relevant technical qualification or equivalent technical experience




Newcastle University is committed to being a fully inclusive Global University which actively recruits, supports and retains staff from all sectors of society.  We value diversity as well as celebrate, support and thrive on the contributions of all our employees and the communities they represent.  We are proud to be an equal opportunities employer and encourage applications from everybody, regardless of race, sex, ethnicity, religion, nationality, sexual orientation, age, disability, gender identity, marital status/civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, as well as being open to flexible working practices.


The University holds a silver Athena SWAN award in recognition of our good employment practices for the advancement of gender equality. The University also holds the HR Excellence in Research award for our work to support the career development of our researchers, and is a member of the Euraxess initiative supporting researchers in Europe.


Requisition ID: 9602