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This month we talk to the new Director of Medical Sciences Division IT Services, Tony Brett. Tony joined us in September and brings a wealth of experience having worked previously with central IT Services, at Corpus Christi and the WIMM. And he’s a pretty competent tenor too!

Tony BrettTell us a little about your role Tony
I lead MSD IT Services in operations, set and deliver its strategic direction and ensure (and demonstrate) that our customers derive value from our services. Across the Division I also aim to ensure that all IT support and provision, whether managed by MSD IT Services or others is appropriately coordinated, so as to avoid duplication, waste of effort and reduced value. This involves building and maintaining good relations with other IT teams and together we can make our IT resource as efficient and valuable as possible. I also have a dotted line into central IT Services; this helps ensure that IT within the Medical Sciences Division is working effectively with central IT and maximising the value of the partnership. 

And why is the work of MSD IT Services so important?
MSD IT Services is part of the Divisional Office and provides IT Services, including storage and networking solutions, to a large proportion of the departments within the Medical Sciences Division.  By working at a divisional level, we can help our constituents realise economies of scale that wouldn’t be possible within individual departments. My goal is to position MSD IT Services effectively between central IT Services (which is best placed to deliver services such as Nexus and WebLearn) and departmental level IT support (who can provide bespoke support for specific and unique research or teaching activities).

What’s currently at the top of your to do list?
I’m focussing my energies on forming good working relationships with key staff in MSD – Heads of Department, Departmental Administrators and Finance teams and senior PIs. I am also developing a model of MSD IT associates for the myriad IT staff around the Division not formally in MSD IT Services but who work closely with us and use the tools we provide. This way we can adopt a more coordinated approach to IT Service Management, which should ultimately result in improved customer service.

Tony Brett - choirHow did you get to where you are today?
I started my working life while at secondary school cleaning tractors and working in the local farm shop at weekends. In my vacations as an undergraduate I worked at one of Barclays Bank’s London Cash Centres and then after graduating I became the first IT Manager of the IMM (now the WIMM). I left there after five years to run IT at Corpus Christi College (Oxford) and then moved to Oxford University Computing Services five years later, where I was part of, and then Head of, IT Support Staff services. OUCS merged into IT Services in 2012 and I carried on as Head of IT Support Staff services and took on some other strategic roles including coordinating the consultation and development of the University’s current IT Strategy. The opportunity to apply to be Director of MSD IT came up in April 2016 and I was delighted to be successful in my application. Leaving IT Services after 13 years has been a wrench but I am pleased to have made a move to a new challenge and happy to be working with and leading such a great team.

We’re glad to have you here Tony! So when you aren’t busy at work, what do you like to do to relax and if you weren’t in IT, what would you like to be doing instead?
I am inspired by honesty and integrity. Outside work I enjoy singing tenor in the City of Oxford Choir and I’m also Chair of Governors at Oxford Spires Academy. If I hadn’t read Chemistry at University I would have liked to read Medicine and become a GP.

Contact Tony Brett

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