Technical Architect, Applications and Data

Durham, United Kingdom
£41,526 - 49,553 per annum
06 May 2021
End of advertisement period
20 May 2021
Contract Type
Full Time

Computing and Information Services

Grade 8: - £41,526 - 49,553 per annum
Open-Ended/Permanent - Full Time
Contracted Hours per Week: 35
Closing Date:
 20-May-2021, 6:59:00 AM 

Job Family: Estates and Information Infrastructure Services

OUR CHARACTERISTICS: We are a globally outstanding centre of teaching and research excellence, a collegiate community of extraordinary people, in a unique and historic setting.    

OUR VALUES: We are inspiring, challenging, innovative, responsible and enabling.

Durham University

Durham University is one of the world's top universities with strengths across the Arts and Humanities, Business, Sciences and Social Sciences. We are home to some of the most talented scholars and researchers from around the world who are tackling global issues and making a difference to people's lives. 

The University sits in a beautiful historic city where it shares ownership of a UNESCO World Heritage Site with Durham Cathedral, the greatest Romanesque building in Western Europe. A collegiate University, Durham recruits outstanding students from across the world and offers an unmatched wider student experience.

Durham University seeks to promote and maintain an inclusive and supportive environment for work and study that assists all members of our University community to reach their full potential. Diversity brings strength and we welcome applications from across the international, national and regional communities that we work with and serve.

It is expected that all staff within the University:

  • Contribute to our learning culture by engaging in mentoring, training and coaching.
  • Positively contribute to fostering a collegial environment; as well as demonstrating commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion.
  • Have due regard to Health and Safety requirements appropriate to grade and role.

Family key attributes

Roles in this family manage and maintain the integrity of University buildings, estates and information services.

Overall family purpose

  • Ensure safe, sustainable and fit for purpose buildings, internal and external environments in and on which to conduct University business.
  • Liaise and engage with stakeholders across the University to identify and plan infrastructure projects to update and improve services and facilities.
  • Align services to meet organisational strategic and operational objectives.
  • Design new, adapt existing and implement services, working with external contractors and suppliers.
  • Manage and monitor systems, mechanisms and processes to ensure compliance with internal and external regulations.
  • Implement procedures to ensure safe and secure buildings, facilities, estates and information networks.
  • Design and construct real and virtual test environments to ensure the most fit for purpose technology and services are available to underpin University business needs.
  • Manage technology driven services and third-party platforms to underpin teaching, learning, research and administrative activities across the University.
  • Engage with external suppliers, contractors, manufacturers and developers to ensure the highest-standards and quality of buildings, estates and information services.
  • Work collaboratively and network across the University with staff in other families to ensure a smooth, timely and high-quality delivery of service.

Link to key strategic plan

  • An economically sustainable approach to delivering infrastructure services across the University;
  • Develop an academic estate that will allow the University to deliver world-class education, research and student experience;
  • Ensure the long-term availability of suitable residential accommodation;
  • Ensure the continuing renewal and maintenance of our estate;
  • Improve the environmental sustainability and ease of travel around our estate and city locations;
  • Support and facilitate a first-rate digital learning environment and experience on a par with the best in the UK;
  • Running and ongoing development of a first-rate digital learning environment on a par with the best in the UK;
  • A stakeholder-focused orientation, offering satisfying careers to all staff;
  • Ensure that an increasingly diverse workforce is treated equally, fairly and with respect, and that all staff are demonstrably valued and actively engaged.

The Department and role purpose   

The Computing and Information Services (CIS) has an annual operational budget in the order of £10m, multi-million pound programmes of change within year, and approximately 165 staff. The Senior Leadership Team report directly to the Chief Information Officer with the following portfolios: Strategy and Change; Operations; and Information Systems. CIS provide academic, teaching and administrative services across the organisation that underpin the day-to-day activities of the whole organisation.

 Recent infrastructure improvements include investment in a new network backbone, including new cable runs throughout the city to all of the Universities core buildings, network virtualisation, new scalable user facing storage, and a new hosting environment. Corresponding business led investment also continues to be made with a new web programme, training platform, student relationship management system, investment in research administration, and maximising the breadth of opportunities available to the University through Office365, alongside numerous other important initiatives. Investment is aligned to the University’s Digital strategy which seeks to provide a clear vision for how digital services can be an enabler to the overall University strategy and objectives.

 CIS is a friendly, but demanding department, where much is expected and can be achieved by competent, self-motivated individuals who are demonstrable in their team work ability.

The Architecture & Security Team is responsible for ensuring that information technology solutions meet business requirements in a way that is secure, reliable and cost-effective.  The team defines and governs the principles by which solutions are designed, to provide assurance of the overall systems architecture, in some cases directly leading the design of solutions.  The team is also responsible for managing cyber security risk, defining and implementing security controls and handling security incidents.

The Technical Architect (Applications and Data) will be instrumental in developing the roadmap for information systems at a time of significant opportunity and change in this space.  The University is in the process of deploying a cloud-based ERP solution and is looking to renew or update many of its other core systems, and to transform its management information and analytics capabilities.  The role sits within the Security and Architecture Team, leading the definition and governance of principles, standards, blueprints, patterns and roadmaps for the domains of IT applications and data.  This applications architecture provides the framework within which all of the University’s Information Systems needs are met. The post supports the CIS Information Systems team with technical expertise and guidance in developing solutions to address business requirements, in some cases directly leading on solution design.

Core responsibilities:

  • Provide expert professional subject expertise and problem-solving skills.
  • Act as recognised practitioner within own specialist area or discipline, shaping activities, processes and systems.
  • Responsible for activity across different areas.
  • Oversight of short term or temporary project teams/strands, taking responsibility for decision making as appropriate.
  • Engage with key stakeholders and internal and external contractors to influence opinion, delivery and reputation of services.
  • Act as specialist point of contact dealing with complexity of data and information sources, interpretation and analysis.
  • Significant input into the scoping and resource planning across a range of activities at operational and possibly strategic level.
  • Carry out project scoping, initiation, planning and implementation for large scale/University wide initiatives.
  • Responsible for shaping the development and learning of others outside of team, through the design and delivery of training sessions.
  • Lead on the design, implementation and monitoring of policy and quality standards, procedures and systems ensuring effective working and continuous improvement.
  • Promote and develop a deep understanding of organisational policy and external developments.
  • Promote the improvement and efficiency of departmental services by implementing and managing review and improvement procedures.
  • Ensure all activities, processes and transactions are accounted for accurately and promptly to meet regulatory and professional service and policy standards.
  • Implement processes to manage the integrity and security of all commercially and professionally sensitive and personal data.
  • Lead internal business meetings, working groups and sub-committees at operational service level to influence governance, organisational policy and standards for the service. 

Role responsibilities:

  • Deliver specialist services as an expert practitioner in IT applications and data architecture, providing expertise in designing coherent solutions to address functional and non-functional requirements in line with agreed principles and standards.
  • Lead the design, development and implementation of service deliverables and influence organisational transformation, including the development and implementation of principles, standards, blueprints, strategy and technology solutions to meet the University’s IT needs.
  • Ensure the design, development and implementation of the application portfolio evolves at an appropriate rate and remains valid as the other related architectures change
  • Ensure that the applications and data architecture provides the University with a secure, resilient, flexible, cost-effective platform for delivery of IT and user needs.
  • Carry out research to determine technological/system/facility trends and translate these into implications, risks and opportunities for operational service quality management, security and delivery.  
  • Use research knowledge alongside business requirements and architectural principles and standards to define the roadmap for IT applications and data across the University.
  • Deliver professional expertise with the design, construction and development of the IT applications estate and effective management of data.
  • Identify, source and design solutions critical to service delivery.
  • As part of the Architecture Team, provide IT applications and data domain expertise in developing architectures, designs and roadmaps for the University’s IT services.
  • Lead, manage and implement one or more major projects across the organisation, monitoring and mapping performance, and providing progress reports and mitigating actions to ensure key deliverables and targets are met.
  • Delegate authority and responsibility within relevant project teams to make decisions about the quality, level and nature of service and resources necessary to meet operational and annual strategic business objectives.  
  • Work with team members and stakeholders to build and maintain excellent working relationships.
  • Network and engage with key stakeholders, internal and external staff, suppliers, contractors and industry specialists.
  • Manage and monitor overall compliance assessments and procedures, ensuring compliance. 
  • Any other reasonable duties.

Recruiting to this post 

In order to be considered for interview, candidates must evidence each of the essential criteria required for the role in the person specification above. 

In some cases, the recruiting panel may also consider the desirable criteria, so we recommend you evidence all criteria in your application.  

Please note that some criteria will only be considered at interview stage.

How to apply 

We prefer to receive applications online.

Please note that in submitting your application Durham University will be processing your data. We would ask you to consider the relevant University Privacy Statement https://www.dur.ac.uk/ig/dp/privacy/pnjobapplicants/ which provides information on the collation, storing and use of data.

What you are required to submit

  1. A CV; 
  2. A covering letter which details your experience, strengths and potential in the requirements set out above;
  3. Examples of how you satisfy the essential criteria in the person specification, this will require completion of the 'Questionnaire' application section.

Please ensure that you submit all documentation listed above or your application cannot proceed to the next stage.

Contact details 

For further information please contact: c.t.hopkins@durham.ac.uk.

At Durham University, our aim is to create an open and inclusive environment where everyone can reach their full potential and believe our staff should reflect the diversity of the global community in which we work.  We welcome and encourage applications from members of groups who are under-represented in our work force including people with disabilities, women and black, Asian and minority ethnic communities.

We will notify you on the status of your application at various points throughout the selection process, via automated emails from our e-recruitment system.  Please check your spam/junk folder periodically to ensure you receive all emails

Person specification - skills, knowledge, qualifications and experience required

Essential Criteria

  1. Excellent oral and written communication skills and the ability to develop excellent working relationships both internally and externally. 
  2. Educated to degree level (or equivalent experience).
  3. Professional practitioner with specialist knowledge in IT applications and data architecture and system design.
  4. Expertise in IT applications, solutions and development frameworks.
  5. Expertise in data modelling.
  6. Experience of defining and documenting solutions and architectures to meet functional and non-functional requirements in a complex environment.
  7. Experience of integrating heterogeneous applications, including on-premise and cloud-hosted solutions.
  8. Knowledge of the current marketplace for IT applications and management information systems.
  9. Regulatory, local and national professional knowledge and experience of compliance.
  10. Awareness of security and data protection considerations when designing and implementing IT solutions.
  11. Experience of being able to network effectively and develop strong and productive working relationships.
  12. Ability to solve problems and resolve issues, plan solutions and make pragmatic decisions.
  13. Experience of delivering major IT projects within an educational, commercial or industrial environment.
  14. Extensive knowledge and experience of ensuring compliance with regulatory and organisational policy and guidelines, including industry frameworks and security legislation.
  15. Experience of providing specialist advice and guidance to a range of customers and colleagues, including more senior colleagues.
  16. Experience of defining and implementing policies, principles, standards and procedures and involvement with future changes for a service area.
  17. Ability to contribute to planning at operational and strategic levels.

Desirable Criteria

  • Relevant industry and professional recognition and certification of achievement of skills and knowledge.
  • Continuing professional development required to maintain professional recognition.
  • Knowledge of IT infrastructure, including networking, servers, storage and virtualisation.
  • Health and safety compliance knowledge.

Realising Your Potential Approach

The Realising Your Potential Approach clarifies the behaviours expected to be demonstrated by all staff across Professional Services in the University regardless of their role. Along with the core responsibilities, role responsibilities and the person specification, the Realising Your Potential Approach behavioural indicators are used to inform the recruitment and selection process. Further information on the Realising Your Potential Approach is available here.

DBS Requirement: Not Applicable.