Information Technology Business Partner, Service Adoption job with DURHAM UNIVERSITY

Computing and Information Services

Grade 8: – £41,526 – £49,553 per annum

Open-Ended/Permanent – Full Time

Contracted Hours per Week: 35

Closing Date: 13-May-2021, 6:59:00 AM 

Job Description

The Role purpose

The Computing and Information Services (CIS) is looking to appoint an IT Business Partner (service adoption) to join the department’s engagement team.

The IT Business Partner has overall responsibility to serve as the strategic interface between internal CIS teams and the University departments they support. This is for the purpose of business technology strategy development, solution discovery, service management, risk management and relationship management. We also want to expand the skill set of the engagement team to have greater emphasis on service adoption and early life support when launching new products and services. IT Business Partners will be critical to this endeavour and this role will have specific emphasis on service adoption, aligned to the central Strategic Planning Office approach.

This role will focus on managing relationships with key stakeholders and as such the post holder is expected to have demonstrable skills in this area. The IT Business Partners work collaboratively to develop and deliver the IT Strategy for the University as a whole, establish user requirements, identify issues of service discontentment, provide advice to colleagues across the business, implement change, and act as a strong voice within CIS for the departments they represent and vice versa. We are looking for a multi-skilled IT business partner with initiative, energy, drive, suitable qualifications/experience and someone with strong interpersonal skills.

Specifically the IT Business Partners work collaboratively to:

  • work with end users and Heads of Department to identify future business needs.
  • keep end users informed of CIS latest developments and service performance.
  • advocate on behalf of Colleges, Departments and Professional Services, assisting with prioritisation of initiatives.
  • identify service standards and user expectations.
  • provide expert professional change management expertise and problem-solving skills to support the successful implementation of IT projects.

The post holder is expected to:

  • be a strong advocate for innovative solutions, best practice advice and knowledge exchange.
  • stay informed of technology, processes and legislation in order to identify opportunities to support the University in delivering its over-arching strategy and the Digital Strategy.
  • manage relationships with key stakeholders and as such the post holder is expected to have demonstrable skills in this area.

The Department 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.

Core job family 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.
  • Have oversight of short term or temporary project teams/strands, taking responsibility for decision making as appropriate, including taking on the role of Project Manager on occasion.
  • Engage with key stakeholders and internal and external contractors to influence opinion, delivery and reputation of services, including representing end users and being a strong voice for their views within CIS for both delivery and future developments.
  • Act as a specialist point of contact for all IT requirements brought forward by service users and promote the value of IT services and capability.
  • Provide significant input into the scoping and resource planning of a range of activities at operational and strategic level.
  • Carry out project scoping, initiation, planning and implementation for large scale/University wide initiatives, drawing together the needs of multiple stakeholders into consolidated requirements to inform strategic initiatives and prioritisation.
  • Be responsible for shaping the development and learning of others outside of the team by offering best practice advice, signposting to appropriate training and resources and assisting the CIO and Senior Leadership Team in planning and identifying areas of staff development and training.
  • 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, proactively sharing knowledge of technology risks and opportunities to build competitive advantage and improve efficiency and effectiveness of departments.
  • 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 to influence governance, organisational policy and standards for the service.
  • Be responsible for allocating and monitoring financial budgets and resources.

Role responsibilities:

  • Provide highly valued strategic consulting level support and guidance through key IT initiatives, communicating decisions, priorities and relevant project information to appropriate levels of staff and align priorities across faculties, departments and colleges.
  • Work with members of the CIS Senior Leadership Team to facilitate the optimum use of IT resources and develop appropriate IT projects to meet the needs of service users.
  • Work with team members and stakeholders (including PVCs, Heads of Colleges, Heads of Departments and Services) to build and maintain excellent working relationships.
  • Provide professional guidance to stakeholders regarding project and change management initiatives, including the writing of reports for the University Executive Committee and drafting of technical specifications as required.
  • Have an end-user focus, putting the needs of the end user first, whilst balancing competing demands.
  • Communicate complex technical matters to non-experts in a way that empowers them to understand, challenge and join in the development of departmental, college and faculty plans from a position of knowledge and understanding.
  • Be responsible for ensuring digital services are successfully adopted by users to deliver maximum benefit to departments and colleges.
  • Have the ability to prioritise and consolidate large, complex sets of requirements and work with technical experts (internal and external) to develop realistic plans in partnership with service users and the Strategic Planning Office.
  • Contribute to operational leadership teams and decision making to shape the nature and level of support services.
  • Deliver professional expertise with investigative and service methodologies, make recommendations and identify priorities to develop business plans and achieve business outcomes and objectives.
  • Maintain an oversight of the service and performance metrics to provide reports for departments and business units.
  • Represent the service and University at promotional events and contribute to the delivery of presentations at conferences.
  • Develop external relations, identify and develop opportunities for communities of practice, employers, alumni and donors via extra-curricular activities and increased levels of participation.
  • Lead and deliver professional development and support initiatives that would apply across the University.
  • Take responsibility for day-to-day decision making within own area of responsibility, translating external requirements into practical application and advice that impact on both short- and long-term decisions within CIS and outside the Department.
  • Any other reasonable duties.

Specific role requirements

  • There may be a requirement to work outside normal office hours on occasion.

Durham University

Durham University is one of the world’s top universities with strengths across the Arts and Humanities, 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 provide a comprehensive service and deliver the efficient administration and governance of the University.

Overall family purpose

  • Deliver direct and indirect services to stakeholders.
  • Respond to and manage requests for information and resources.
  • Deliver services to meet regulatory requirements and procedures.
  • Plan and deliver a joined-up approach to University business and people services.
  • Align business processes and services to meet operational and strategic policy objectives.  
  • Deliver business processes to ensure effective management, governance and the economic viability of the University.
  • Encourage, collaborate and participate in the development of productive cross-institution relationships and working.
  • Provide excellent professional services that meet strategic and operational goals and business needs.
  • Carry out monitoring, analysis, development and planning to design new services and service updates for continuous improvement whilst meeting changes in regulations.
  • Engage with specialist professionals, consultants, and suppliers to exchange knowledge and facilitate partnership working.
  • Work collaboratively and network across the University with staff in other families to ensure a smooth, timely and high-quality delivery of service.
  • Align and deliver programmes and activities to meet operational and strategic objectives to enhance the stakeholder experience.
  • Engage and encourage participation with external professionals, schools, alumni and donors.

Person Specification

Person Specification – skills, knowledge, qualifications and experience required


  1. Excellent oral and written communication skills with the ability to influence decision makers and communicate difficult messages whilst developing/maintaining effective working relationships, both internally and externally.
  2. Demonstrable experience of successfully implementing complex change projects.
  3. Ability to act as an expert on the impact of digital solutions on operational procedures.
  4. Ability to identify, screen and evaluate new solution opportunities to address unmet end user needs.
  5. Ability to perform business analysis and prepare recommendations as needed.
  6. Educated to degree level (or equivalent experience).
  7. Adaptable to respond to end user priorities and able to escalate operational issues as required.
  8. Knowledge and experience of ensuring compliance with regulatory and organisational policy and guidelines.  


  • Proven experience of writing business cases and acquiring organisational funds.
  • Experience of being able to network effectively and develop strong and productive working relationships, to influence perceptions of the University.
  • Previous experience of working in Higher Education.
  • Change management qualification
  • ITIL foundation qualification

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 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 person specification in the Question 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: [email protected]

DBS Requirement: Not Applicable.