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In: Business and Management

Submitted By hasanalshaikh
Words 6680
Pages 27

April, 2012

Executive Summary: Information Technology has become a necessity and inseparable entity of any organization. Whether large or small, any organization if it seeks to achieve efficient and effective performance and thus leading to high productivity and profitability, it has to implement and deploy optimal ICT practice.
The report examines the ICT infrastructure that is utilized and deployed at Bahrain Polytechnic, which is one of the leading and well-established public universities in Bahrain. It attempts to provide a comprehensive overview of how ICT is implemented within the institution in regard to the physical infrastructure, systems, applications, networking and all other technical issues that are relevant to the ICT implementation and operations.
Through the journey of investigating all aspects and concepts of ICT at Bahrain Polytechnic, this report tries of shed light on and assess the ICT services provided to the staff as well as to the customers who are the students. As it is the case to any organization, Bahrain polytechnic’s main aim of implementing best ICT practices is to ensure the best learning environment to the students and improve their performance and achievement as well as facilitate the performance of both the tutors and other staff. All this can maintain the institution’s competitive edge and place it amongst the most distinguished and pioneering universities in Bahrain.
By carrying out surveys, observations and face-to-face interviews with ICT team members, this reports seeks to assess the overall performance of the ICT department, the systems, applications and their suitability and adequacy to support the various needs and requirements of the institution. In addition, it tries to obtain suggestions and recommendations on how the overall performance and operations of ICT can be improved. Moreover, the report demonstrates the challenges faced by Bahrain Polytechnic in relation to ICT and pinpoints some ways to tackle these challenges. Furthermore, in order to discover to what extent Bahrain Polytechnic realizes the importance of ICT to achieving its ultimate goals and objectives and to improving productivity and profitability, the report reviews the organizational ICT policy, the amount of capital and operation expenditure that is allocated to ICT and the size and infrastructure of the ICT Department as well as the number of ICT staff.
As it reaches the last station of its journey, this report provide a briefing about how ICT at Bahrain Polytechnic is shaped and how it has paved the way towards greatest achievements and brilliant performance by the beneficiaries. It wraps up with some findings, conclusions and recommendations.

Table of Contents | | Executive Summary | 1 | Table of Contents | 2 | Introduction | 3 | Organizational Structure of Bahrain polytechnic | 5 | Information Systems Of Bahrain Polytechnic | 7 | Web-based Systems or eServices | 9 | IS Help in Achieving Competitive Advantage | 10 | ICT policy of Bahrain Polytechnic: | 11 | IT Department Capital and Operational Expenditure | 13 | ICT Service, Structure and Staffing | 14 | Level of Satisfaction | 14 | Suggested Improvements to ICT | 16 | IT Challenges | 16 | ICT Infrastructures | 17 | Conclusion | 21 | References | 23 | Appendix | 24 |

What is Bahrain Polytechnic?
Bahrain Polytechnic is a government educational institution that is located in Isa Town, Kingdom of Bahrain. It was established by King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa by Royal Decree in 2008. Since then, it has been considered a key initiative for the Education and Training Development Committee which is a project of the 2030 Vision of the Kingdom . Bahrain Polytechnic mainly delivers technical education, applied learning, and occupational training. It offers degrees that range from certificate courses, diplomas, to Bachelors.
Officially launched by H.R.H. Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Crown Prince and Chairman of the Economic Development Board (EDB), Bahrain Polytechnic has been a landmark in demonstrating the capabilities of marketing, communications and achievements. This institution’s main goal is to address the need for a skilled Bahraini labour force that will be able to support diversification and economic growth. Bahrain Polytechnic strives to produce graduates who will be work-ready people who are confident, competent, and aware of what is expected of them in the professional world.

“Bahrain Polytechnic will be recognized as a leading and exemplary provider of high quality, relevant, applied, professional and technical education delivered in co-operation with our society and the wider educational community.”

“Bahrain Polytechnic will add to the prosperity of our nation and our people by providing relevant and high-quality education which meets the learning needs and enlarges the horizons of all students, consistent with the changing demands of society and the world.”

Bahrain Polytechnic has been working with the private sector to design educational training programs that will meet the requirements and needs of the labor market. This is to ensure the students’ employability when they graduate. All the programmes, qualifications and courses, and the methodology of delivery are developed after consulting industries, businesses, professions and international educational institutions in order to provide a world class education and training. Set by the Board of Trustees, this strategy can ensure that the graduates will meet the needs of the labour market and therefore injecting Bahrain’s economy with highly skillful graduates.
Currently, Bahrain Polytechnic offers the following degrees: Bachelor of Design which is to be launched September 2010, Bachelor of International Logistics Management in partnership with the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport, Bachelor of Engineering Technology, Bachelor of Information and Communications Technology, Bachelor of Business, and Diploma in Office Management.

Location and Campus:
Bahrain Polytechnic is situated in Isa Town, 14 kilometers to the South West of central Manama. The Campus is shared with University of Bahrain's Engineering College and Applied Sciences College. However, Bahrain Polytechnic will take over the whole campus soon as the Colleges of Engineering and Science of the University of will move to the main campus in Skhir.
Bahrain's Ministry of Works has a plan project to replace the current campus of Bahrain Polytechnic with a new modern campus’s building which will cost about US $250 million. The developing of the new campus will be in stages and the development period will be in six stages and will last for about ten years.

Organizational Structure of Bahrain polytechnic:
According to the organizational chart of Bahrain polytechnic, the ICT Department comes under the Corporate Services Unit. The ICT Director has two management groups. The Operation Management, which manages the ICT systems, and the Projects Management, which manages the ERP projects.
Basically, the high level organization structure of the IT Department of Bahrain Polytechnic comprises the main levels. Level 1 is the Director who represents the top IT management in the organization and he is responsible for all the IT managerial issues at all levels and in all the departments of the organization.
Then comes level 2, which is the ICT Operation level. This level represents the ICT operational levels and the ICT Operations manager has many duties. These duties include: * Managing current operations and implementing new operations, procedures and processes within the institution. * Managing the procurement of ICT purchases, recommending improvements to the current ICT infrastructure and ensuring compliance with operational policies and procedures. * Managing expectations of all stakeholders and sharing duties and responsibilities for the success of various projects. * Managing the daily ICT processes such as performance, planning monitoring and evolution, development of metrics; and maintaining computer-related operations such as networking, telephone facilities by combining all internal and external resources and liaising with vendors.
The third high level organization structure of the IT Department embraces the Helpdesk, Technicians, and System Engineers. Their main responsibilities include: * Prompt responding to requests for technical help and assistance by phone, email or through the use of a specific help-desk management system. * Providing first line response and assistance for users who require ICT help and assistance. This entails the tracking and solving ICT issues and incidents through active communication with relevant individuals or departments. * Update daily status reports and shift handover reports. * Liaising between users, customers and ICT teams, and providing a particular channel or unit for the institution for resolving ICT issues.
The figure below (Figure 1) shows organizational structure of Bahrain Polytechnic and where the ICT department is placed and incorporated with the institution.

Figure 1: Bahrain Polytechnic Organizational Chart

Organization Chart & Department Functions

Information Systems at Bahrain Polytechnic:
As an educational institution that aims at providing a good education to the young Bahraini generations, Bahrain Polytechnic realizes the significance of ICT to the success of its operations as well as to the level and quality of its services and performance. Most of the IT systems that are utilized in Bahrain Polytechnic are aimed at supporting the learning and teaching processes and foster communication amongst the students themselves and amongst the students and their tutors. Nevertheless, communication among staff is also enhanced and supported by these systems. There are six main ICT systems most of which are educational and designed for educational and research purposes. There are also other management ICT systems and mailing systems to reduce paperwork. Below is a briefing of each system: * Self Service Banner (SSB): This system contains multi functions such as finance, student services, and HR-related functions. Tutors can use this system to record their students’ attendance and grades electronically and they can also view their class lists, their timetables. In addition to that, the tutors can print off different reports of students’ final marks and results. In addition, Through the use of Self Service Banner, the students, tutors, and other staff can exchange emails and communicate through forums. The students also make use of Self Service Banner to view their grades and final results.
For students, it is considered the management system where they can view their profile, timetable, assessments and attendance. Self Service Banner is also linked with Moodle where the tutors upload teaching materials for students to view. The students also can do online tasks and upload assignments through Moodle.
A good advantage of SSB is that the students can log into SSB from any Bahrain Polytechnic Lab or from their home PCs through Bahrain Polytechnic Website by clicking Self Service Banner (access to timetables and class lists for staff and students). * Active Directory: This is the main identity management authentication system uses at Bahrain Polytechnic. It is a database designed for special and specific purposes. This software program operates as a central location and it authenticates and authorizes all the users and computers within the network. It utilizes the Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP), which is an application protocol that is used for accessing and maintaining directory information services that are distributed across an IP network.
Basically, the internal structure of this program consists of hierarchically arranged objects that can be largely categorized into resources and security principles. Some examples of these objects include users, computers, sites, groups, printers and services. Each of these objects is considered as one single unit with specific attributes. These attributes are defined by a Schema along with the type of objects which can be stored in the AD. * MS Exchange: This is the e-mail system used for internal and external communication at Bahrain Polytechnic. This system is a hosted application that is considered as a tool for messaging that facilitate communication and collaboration through e-mail messages, calendars/schedules, contacts and other tasks. All types of communication can be joined, combined and unified over the Network through the use of Microsoft Outlook, mobile phones, especially smart ones like iPhone and Blackberry via Internet Browser.
Exchange Hosting enables the students, tutors and all other staff to check their emails from any PC with an Internet connection as it coordinates their emails in one centralized network location. They can simply logon by providing their usernames and passwords. This allows them to keep their email and calendars integrated and intact from any location.
The big advantage of all this is that all members of Bahrain Polytechnic Members will have an easy access to their accounts and will be able to communicate effectively and view their schedules via Exchange Hosting. * VMware: This software is designed to allow the end users to access their virtual desktops from multiple locations as it operates a variety of physical devices, and the functionality of the user’s desktop does not depend on or affected by the devices’ capabilities. It has been created mainly to increase business production as it facilitates the virtual environment allowing the users full access from anywhere at any time as long as they have internet connection. * Millennium: This is a library system mainly used for records and electronic library. It is used as the library management system of Bahrain Polytechnic as it provides comprehensive library solutions by streamlining the library operations and by delivering library services to the students, tutors and other allied staff. Through this system, faculty and students can have access to a large number of online journals as well as digital resources available on the digital library. This is done by a variety of modules that provide these services: * Millennium Serials: It manages and organizes the collection of journals in print as well as in electronic form. * Millennium Circulation: It controls stock movement provides users with various options of self-service. * Millennium Acquisitions: It provides a host of ordering solutions. * Millennium Cataloging: It supports the adding more stock and metadata. * Millennium Management Reports: it provides management information about the workflows and the library collections. * Millennium WebOPAC: it embraces and provides the online library catalogue and provides other online services.

* Moodle: It is the main learning management system utilized at Bahrain Polytechnic as it is used by students and tutors for assignments, results, communication, viewing timetables etc. It contains all of the students’ course information and assignments and the students can find all the learning materials they need online along with a list of their under the degree that they are enrolled in. Tutors are responsible for updating Moodle during the semester. Moodle is considered as an innovative system that enables students to actively interact with their tutors, view and download course materials and do assignments and online tests.

Web-based Systems or eServices:
Bahrain Polytechnic utilizes mainly four web based systems or e-services; Finance System, SharePoint, HyperV and Service Desk (Helpdesk System). A brief description of each is provided below.
A) Finance System: Broadly speaking, a finance system is a term that is used to describe the various financial applications used throughout the institutions and supported by the ICT Department. The main objective of this system is to support the management of the financial resources of the institution and thus achieving more appropriate and efficient investment. Besides meeting the needs for creating central finance, budget and assets, this system effectively assists all the departments in the management of financial transactions.
B) SharePoint: This is a web based system that facilitates communication between all the employees as it presents the virtual environment of Bahrain Polytechnic. All important documents can be accessed by any staff members on campus through SharePoint. It shows all the departments and contains all the necessary data and information of all the departments and units of the institution.
SharePoint provides a collaboration platform for the institution and the web that allowing the staff to create and manage their own web sites. It enables the staff to find and share information across the different departments as it integrates with Windows and MS Office. Simply, SharePoint makes it easier for people to work together by managing and sharing their data (documents, emails, contacts …etc).
C) HyperV: This software allows multiple server roles to run on one single machine and comprehensively controls the power of x64 computing by makes the best use of server hardware. Also, it has a 64-bit micro-kernelized hypervisor architecture that can make it possible to provide a wide range of methods for supporting devices.
D) Service Desk (Helpdesk System): This is an internet-based helpdesk system that provides users with the opportunity of reporting ICT-related problems/issues or tickets via the web by or through the telephone. Once a problem is reported, any available technician will response to that request and solve it as quickly as possible. This system makes it can do these tasks:- * Record information about the user’s name, request issues, date and time of the issues, and technicians. * Forward issues emails to other available technicians to be resolved. * Create reports on the ICT issues, performance of technician staff and feedback of staff. * Store all previous issues a database for future reference and assessment.

IS Help in Achieving Competitive Advantage:
There is no doubt that the proper and efficient implementation of ICT at Bahrain Polytechnic has been the cornerstone of the success it has achieved. This institution has become a world class university and IC has helped it to a great extent to gain a competitive advantage. In fact, Bahrain Polytechnic was the first public university to utilize ICT in most of its operations and practices amongst which and most importantly are the learning and teaching practices.
As a well-established and modern educational institute, Bahrain Polytechnic has to provide the latest and most efficient technology for its students. The institution has more than 900 PCs installed in the campus’s labs and these must be regularly maintained and updated to ensure that they function efficiently and properly because this will be reflected upon the quality of education that is provided by this institution and eventually on the students’ performance and achievement.
Bahrain Polytechnic utilizes technology MS SCCM to make sure that all 900 computers in labs are healthy and contain all required software that the tutors and students need in order for them to complete their tasks, tests and assignments. Without utilizing technology, the institution will require large man power which will largely affect the overall budget.
All these factors has helped in shaping the reputation of Bahrain Polytechnic making it a world class institution and a very attractive tertiary educational institution that offers a vivid and interactive learning environment.

ICT policy of Bahrain Polytechnic:
In today’s business, securing organizational data and information is so critical and vital to the success of the organization. Having realized that, Bahrain Polytechnic has developed a comprehensive ICT policy that covers all the areas and aspects of ICT operations, procedures and practices. The following is the text of Bahrain Polytechnic’s ICT Policy obtained from the institution’s website:

Policy Statement:
Bahrain Polytechnic provides ICT resources for the prime purpose of allowing students, staff and other authorised individuals to perform their duties at the Polytechnic.
The Purpose of this policy is to promote the acceptable use of Polytechnic ICT resources.
The Policy Applies to: Staff Students Any other individuals who may be authorised to use Polytechnic ICT resources Any individual or group that has access to or possesses an ICT resource via a Polytechnic system or mechanism.
Formal Delegations and Variation to Policy

All other resources that are supported by and/or made available by the ICT Services department of Bahrain Polytechnic for the legitimate business of the Polytechnic and enables the Polytechnic and authorised users of ICT resources to carry out their role at the Polytechnic.
User: Anyone who has access to or uses ICT resources, including any person who has been granted access via an authorised process.
Custodian: Any person or group that is entrusted as the prime steward of an ICT resource or who has been entrusted with specific responsibilities in regard to an ICT resource. Process Owner: A person or group responsible for the processes that use the Services the resource provides including compliance with Policy. Unethical and unacceptable behaviour - Any behaviour or activity that: * Violates copyright or patent protection and authorizations including license agreements and other contracts. * Interferes with the intended use of an ICT resource. * Uses an ICT resource for other than its intended use. * Attempts to gain or gains unauthorised access to an ICT resource. * Accesses or uses an ICT resource in a way that is not authorised . * Intentionally inhibits, alters, destroys, damages, dismantles, disfigures or prevents rightful access, use or integrity of an ICT resource. * Puts at risk the privacy or reputation of others . * Creates a situation that results in inefficient or wasteful use of an ICT resource. * Uses the ICT Resource without authorisation for personal gain. * Puts at risk the reputation and/or security of the Polytechnic, its staff, students and stakeholders. * Removes or moves an ICT resource from its designated location without authorization. * Creates a situation that may result in a commitment (or expectation of commitment) from Bahrain Polytechnic to the support of an ICT resource without official endorsement and/or budget approval. * Publishes or shares inappropriate or illegal information. This includes (but is not limited to) information that is defined as commercial to Bahrain Polytechnic; self-promotional; abusive; discriminatory (including hate speech) based on race, gender, sex, national origin, age, sexual orientation, religion or disability. * Promotes an ICT resource that is outside the control or domain of Bahrain Polytechnic without ensuring others are aware of the acceptable use, risks or limits of support from Bahrain Polytechnic.
Information access and use: Users are eligible to have access to information that is required for them to perform their normal duties. They are also expected to exercise good judgment in the use of such information. In particular, confidential or demographic data which pertains to students, staff or Bahrain Polytechnic must be used in a manner that protects rights of privacy and limits personal and institutional liability. In general, users are expected to avoid situations in which they either provide or interpret to others information which is outside the scope of their expertise, job or study responsibilities. Information Availability and Validity: Bahrain Polytechnic will not be responsible for the availability, accuracy, validity, legality or usefulness of information from resources or sources that are outside the control or domain of Bahrain Polytechnic. These include Internet, web collaboration, social media and Web2.0 sources.

Bahrain Polytechnic uses anti-virus software in all the machines; servers, desktops and laptops in order to make sure that latest virus definitions and updates are implemented and that all the external incoming connections will go through a firewall to protect its networks.

ICT Department Capital and Operational Expenditure:
As of the year 2011, the percentage of total ICT capital and operational expenditure is 1.4% which is quite a bit high yet reasonable if compared to the expenditures of other departments, taking into account the nature of ICT and prices of most recent and efficient ICT infrastructure, systems and applications. This shows us how much importance Bahrain Polytechnic gives to ICT in general.

ICT Service, Structure and Staffing
The ICT services and the physical structure of ICT seem to be pretty appropriate and convenient to the organizational requirements and to the needs of the users who are the students, tutors and the other staff and online customers. However, the ICT Department seems to be understaffed due the delay of recruiting new staff members which was due to the change in administration as Bahrain Polytechnic has been taken over by the Ministry of Education.
The ICT staff constitutes 3% of all the overall number of Bahrain polytechnic staff which needs to be increased a bit. However, the ICT Department has a highly experienced professionals and expert with log work experience, and this has contributed to the great achievements of the ICT team

Level of Satisfaction:
To detect the level staff and students level of satisfaction about ICT services provided to them at Bahrain Polytechnic, a survey was designed and given out to 15 students and 15 staff, tutors and other employees.
They survey contained two parts; the first part included question items aimed at evaluating the service provided by the ICT Department and the quality of their work, how prompt they are at fulfilling requests and solving ICT problems that the staff and students usually have. The questions also tries to assess the competency and knowledge of the ICT staff, their relationship with the other people within the institution beside the systems and applications that they have developed and provided (See Appendix).
The charts below (Chart 1 and 2) shows the results of the survey. It is obvious from the analysis that the level of the staff and students’ satisfaction about the performance of the ICT Team and the ICT service, systems and applications is high (ranging between 3 and 4 out of 5). The overall satisfaction is 3.55 out of 5, which can be seen as high. This means that the ICT team is complying with the Bahrain Polytechnic ICT Policy Statement, which states that “Bahrain Polytechnic provides ICT resources for the prime purpose of allowing students, staff and other authorised individuals to perform their duties at the Polytechnic.”
Generally speaking, we can say that the ICT team is doing a good job in providing ICT services to all members of the institution and the systems and applications they are using are basically relevant and appropriate to Bahrain Polytechnic. All in all, we can describe the ICT service provided at Bahrain Polytechnic as effective and efficient.
The figures below (1 and 2) show the results on the level of ICT satisfaction obtained from the survey.
Level of satisfaction about ICT services, systems, applications and performance of ICT team and their relationship with other staff and students
Chart 2

Chart 1
Chart 1

Suggested Improvements to ICT:

The survey also asked the participants to give suggestions about how to improve the ICT services and what improvements they wish to see. Below is a summary of suggestions obtained from the responses of the participants:

1. Make SharePoint accessible from anywhere off-campus. 2. Modify Moodle and make it more user-friendly and add a general open forum to all students and staff, academic or allied, so that to give them the chance to communicate and exchange information and ideas. 3. Provide more ICT workshops and training sessions to the students and staff in order to help them utilize the different systems, especially Banner, SharePoint and Moodle. 4. Increase the number of ICT staff so that they can response promptly at the beginning of the semester when most ICT staff are usually busy with educating the new incoming students about how to use the ICT systems and applications, during which time the ICT staff become too busy to respond to incidents coming from staff. 5. Establish an ICT Learning Centre for students and staff to go to and learn about the ICT systems and applications used at Bahrain Polytechnic and any other related issues.

IT Challenges
Being an educational institution, the main challenge for Bahrain Polytechnic is providing secure ICT process and data transfer. As in any educational environment, it is essential for the ICT department to make sure that the students can access their own resources without impacting the production environment of the faculty and staff.
The aim is to make the tutors and staff able to perform their administration duties efficiently and effectively without being interrupted by the virtual activities of the students. The installed security systems work to restrict the students to their own resources providing them with an optimal secure virtual environment where they can communicate with peer students and their tutors, view course resources and do online assignments and tests.

Another challenge that ICT at Bahrain Polytechnic is facing is keeping up with the rapid growth and and advance in ICT which necessitates the need for highly competent and qualified ICT professionals. Therefore, training and updating the ICT personnels is vital to the success and effectiveness of the ICT services provided for this institution. This also requires keeping up with developments in technology as services will not retain its competitive advantage if ICT hardware as well as software are not updated and kept as recent as possible especially if we know that today’s technologies become absolute quicker than they used to be in the past. The change in systems and applications entails a change in training employees and also providing additional update sessions to the students, which might be sometimes faced with resistance from the targeted groups who might be reluctant and resisting change.
One more challenge for ICT at Bahrain Polytechnic is the difficulty of reducing costs while considering the high price of ICT infrastructure and the need for constant and continual updating. One thing ICT can do to alleviate this is to outsource some of its systems and application and have long-term venders. However, ICT should not compromise its optimal service and performance by cutting down costs spent on ICT. Adding to the costs spent on ICT is the maintenance process; something any organization must consider. In addition, Bahrain Polytechnic has to review and update its ICT procedures, systems and applications every three years, which requires an additional capital and budget.

ICT Infrastructures:
Having realized the importance of ICT to the efficacy and effectiveness of its overall performance, Bahrain Polytechnic has invested in implementing best ICT infrastructure. Like any other educational institution, ICT is a fundamental requirement that Bahrain Polytechnic must purse and strive to make best use of. Obtaining and implementing the latest and most efficient technologies that can help in providing a good education to the students as well as the university staff has been one of the major objectives that the ICT Department is striving to achieve.
All campus buildings of Bahrain polytechnic like the faculty building, academic building, computer centre, and the library are connected by a fast ethernet-switched networking system. The classrooms and computer labs are networked and are equipped with interactive boards from Promethean. The in-use web-systems provide access to a variety of specialized software like Moodle, Banner, Finance Banner and ActiveInspire which helps both the students as well as the faculty to interact and communicate through an outstanding virtual learning environment.
Every student, tutor and staff member is provided with a unique username and password so that they have access to the central data-sharing system, and this makes them able to archive and share information online on-campus. Users can access their emails accounts off-campus as well via web mail. Below is a brief description of some of the main ICT infrastructure entities.
User Machines:
Bahrain Polytechnic has a leasing contract with a Dell vendor to provide the university with desktop PCs, laptops and servers for three years after which period the machines can be upgraded or replaced, as this will significantly save capital. Besides, there is a Promethean ABV387S300 Interactive Whiteboard in each classroom.
As for the software installed on the laptops and desktops, the staff and students can enjoy using the latest version of Microsoft Windows 7 operating system with Service Pack 1, which as proved to be suitable for the tasks both the students and staff need to fulfill.
The office program used along with Windows 7 is Microsoft Office 2007, which seems to be convenient as well as more efficient than any other office packages. Both the staff and students are offered free ICDL training courses which they can do at their convenience in order to help them become more familiar with MS Office 2007.
For ICT security, Bahrain Polytechnic utilizes Cisco Security Manager, which is an enterprise-class security management application that can provide full control and security for networked devices. It offers comprehensive configuration and event security management on a wide range of systems and applications as well as devices such as Cisco ASA 5500 Series Adaptive Security Devices, Cisco IPS 4200 Series Sensor Appliances, Cisco Integrated Services Routers (ISRs), Cisco Firewall Services Modules (FWSMs), and Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series Switches. The good thing about Cisco Security Manager is that it allows the user to manage any networks of any size efficiently and effectively. Added to this, it can protect the institution form the complex and dynamic threat environment of today through the use of proactive intelligence (SIO) and a single integrated security platform.
The software used on the Promethean Interactive Whiteboards is ActiveInspire, which is designed to support collaborative teamwork and ongoing assessment in the classroom. It provides tutors with all the building blocks they need to create brilliant differentiated lessons enriched with ready-made activities. It also give the tutors the chance to access premium content with assessment templates and large amount of visual and auditory materials.
Data Centers
Bahrain Polytechnic uses Dell Technologies for data storage as they offer end-to-end solutions by providing a single source and point of contact for hardware, software, service and continuous support.

Storage layer:
The Sun ZFS Storage Appliance from Oracle is used because it offers an ideal platform for storage efficiency. This has helped Bahrain Polytechnic in achieving a high performance while expanding its storage at the same time reducing storage complexity and costs.
The ICT team chose Dell PowerEdge servers and Dell/EMC storage Virtualization as they allow the ICT team to reduce the number of physical servers that are required for the Moodle program and as that will boost the online capacity from 200 to 2,000. The Dell servers have enabled the ICT team to increase the number of Web users who can manage their own enrollments by themselves.
Dell blade servers increases the processing capacity per rack up to six times. The ICT team could fit the Dell servers and storage into the limited space that is available in the high efficiency data center of Bahrain Polytechnic. These servers are very convenient for a fast expanding educational institution like Bahrain Polytechnic as the ICT team will always have the capacity to meet this expansion.

Wired Network:
Bahrain Polytechnic has a three-layer wired network. Core Network, Distribution Network and Access Layers Network. These three layers are linked by fiber optics cables with a speed of about 10Gbps. The speed of the network is usually increased further when there is more load on academic research requiring more access on the layer.
The whole network is based on a robust and highly redundant design to assure a high level of networking availability and ability to accommodate future needs.
Wireless Network:
A wireless network based on IEEE 802.11b/g technology covers the whole campus of Bahrain Polytechnic. This wireless network provides up to 54Mpbs speed of access an it is centrally configured, monitored, and managed so as to achieve a flexible and complete secure access.


Having competed this pilot investigation on the ICT at Bahrain Polytechnic, one can conclude that the ICT deployed in this institution appears to be convenient and sufficient in providing constant and relevant support to the various needs and requirements of this educational institution. Apparently, all its ICT-related policies, systems, procedures, practices, technological structures and HR resources leads to the enhancement of the overall performance of the different departments, and thus leading to the achievement of the institution’s ultimate strategic goals.
As a world class tertiary educational institution, Bahrain Polytechnic has given great importance to ICT and has allocated a good amount of its budget to ensure that the latest and most efficient ICT practices are implemented and incorporated in all its departments and at all levels, so as to steer up the wheel straight towards a pioneering success. Giving ICT an utmost significance, Bahrain Polytechnic has made ICT the cornerstone for its virtual environment. This understanding of the importance of ICT as the key to success, made ICT to be considered at high strategic levels.
Utilizing up-to-date ICT has enhanced the institution’s productivity and speeded up and improved the students’ performance and achievement. ICT has greatly helped Bahrain Polytechnic in creating an attractive and interactive teaching and learning environment, that could attract more than 3000 enrolling students last semester, a number that exceeded the institution’s intake capacity as it could only accept 500 students out of the 3000 students who applied to enroll in the different academic programs. It means that Bahrain Polytechnic accepts the cream of the Bahraini society as the 500 accepted students are those who have scored highest at the Math and English election tests.
Nobody can doubt that ICT has a major role in making Bahrain Polytechnic achieve a completive advantage as if it was not for the efficient work of the ICT team, it would not have achieved such success. This has been obviously reflected by the results of the survey that was administered to assess the performance of the ICT team as well as the suitability of the systems and applications that had been developed and implemented by the ICT team. The results of the survey have demonstrated that the ICT users are satisfied to a great extent about the ICT infrastructure, software, systems, applications and performance of the ICT staff members. Although, the ICT Department is a bit understaffed, it has been able to provide the users with prompt assistance and fulfill its duties and responsibilities adequately and efficiently.
To sum up, it can be ascertained that Information Technology has greatly changed the way business is done today and it is impossible to think of an organization whether small or big doing business without having ICT. If we want to realize how significance ICT to organization, all we need to do is to think of how Bahrain Polytechnic as small yet growing educational institution will be running if we deprive it of ICT. In fact, ICT has become the living heart of any business.


Allen, Franklin; Douglas Gale (2001). Comparing Financial Systems. 55 Hayward Street, Cambridge, MA 02142-1493, USA: MIT press. pp. 520. ISBN 978-0262511254.

Gurusamy, S. (2008). Financial Services and Systems 2nd edition, p. 3. Tata McGraw-Hill Education. ISBN 0070153353

Sullivan, Arthur; Steven M. Sheffrin (2003). Economics: Principles in action. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey 07458: Pearson Prentice Hall. pp. 551. ISBN 0-13-063085-3. Appendix

Actual Survey:
Quality of ICT Service Provision Survey at Bahrain Polytechnic

This survey is being administered to obtain your evaluation of the quality service of ICT provision at Bahrain Polytechnic.
In accordance with research ethics, your answers and responses will be treated with highest confidentiality. You are not required to mention your name for this survey.
Please, answer the questions/statements as honestly as possible and return the completed survey no later than 3rd April 2012. Part A: Perception related to ICT services: 1) Please, rate the following statements by ticking (√) Strongly Disagree, Disagree, Unsure, Agree, or Strongly Agree: | Strongly Disagree | Disagree | Unsure | Agree | Strongly Agree | Rating Average | | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | | ICT Department performs the required service from the first time | | | | | | | ICT Department provides its service at the time it promises to do so | | | | | | | ICT Staff provide prompt service | | | | | | | Behavior of IT employees encourages confidence | | | | | | | ICT employees have the knowledge to answer your questions | | | | | | | ICT Department understands your business priorities and issues | | | | | | |

2) How would you rate the overall service provided by ICT in the organization? Very poor Satisfactory Excellent 1 2 3 4 5
3) How would you rate the systems and applications developed by IT? Very poor Satisfactory Excellent 1 2 3 4 5
4) How would you rate the reputation of ICT within the organization? Very poor Satisfactory Excellent 1 2 3 4 5
5) How would you rate the relationship between IT and the rest of the organization?
Very poor Satisfactory Excellent 1 2 3 4 5

Part B: Suggestions and recommendations:

1. In your opinion, how can ICT be improved in your organization? 2. What other services would you like ICT to provide? 3. Do you have any relevant comments?

Thanks and appreciations ≡▀≡▀≡▀≡▀≡▀≡▀≡▀≡▀≡▀≡▀≡▀≡▀≡▀≡▀≡▀≡

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