What we do and how we make a difference
The Technology and Information Services (TIS) programme ensures effective end-to-end delivery of our services - from concept, through development, to operational service delivery and finally to retirement of the systems.
Technology researches, delivers and supports business solutions designed to meet the needs of the Met Office now and in the future. To do this we are:
- Identifying and researching future technology choices
- Building a flexible and responsive IT architecture
- Delivering technology projects to agreed cost, time and quality
- Responding rapidly to changing business demands
- Managing and developing our people and processes effectively
- Making technical expertise available to other parts of the Met Office
- Striving for continuous improvement
- Delivering and supporting our services
- Delivering and supporting the infrastructure to deliver these services
Main projects and service delivery areas
Technology and Information Services (TIS) work on projects from design to implementation and support, across all levels of IT from small software developments, development of large applications, to infrastructure, network design and installation and supercomputer installation. These projects are managed by our accredited Project Managers, using Prince 2 methodology.
Main projects at the moment (September 2009)
- Business applications and services:
- Aviation (airport services, airlines):
OpenRunway, briefing packs, ClearFlight, de-icing service
- Utilities (gas, electric, and water):
Wind energy forecasting, gas industry forecasts, flood forecasts
Ocean currents forecast viewer, ocean surge forecast viewer
- Road (local authorities):
- Government applications and services:
- RIMNET (Radiation Incident Monitoring NETwork) technical replacement
- Government applications and services:
- Implement CMDB
- HPC (supercomputer) replacement
- MASS (storage) replacement
- Business desktop refresh
- Scientific desktop refresh
Service delivery areas
- Central systems support:
(Supercomputer support, GPCS, MASS)
- Database and data management
- Distributed information services:
(PC Support, Unix Desktop, Graphics, MIS)
- External service/support contracts:
(external service/support contracts)
- IT Security
- Networks and message switching:
(Message Switching Services, Network Services)
- Operational Applications:
(Internet Applications, Operational Product Suite, Standalone Applications)
|Teams within Technology ||Responsible for: |
|Core Production || |
- Weather observation IT systems
- Weather data storage systems
- Core productions and verification systems
- Numerical weather prediction post-processing systems
- IT systems supporting scientific analysis, visualisation and data display
|Channels || |
- Production IT systems such as forecasting visualisation tools
- Web systems such as web-based commercial applications
- Customer-specific IT systems for customers such as the Environment Agency and Ministry of Defence.
|Infrastructure || |
- 'Compute and Storage' such as our supercomputer, our MASS, GPCS, Desktop, Exchange and our Server Estate
- 'Telecommunications and Networks' such as WAN, LAN, fixed and mobile telephony, internet infrastructure, remote access, firewalls and matrix switch
- Ensuring that our network meets the needs of the business; with explicit reference to information security
|IT Management || |
- Personal productivity IT systems such as desktop applications, intranet, finance, and our employee self service called 'Yourself'
- System and service monitoring systems such as Tivoli and Remedy
- Specialist tool sets such as Meteorological Integrated Development Environment.
|Service Transition || |
- Planning and overseeing the handover of services to Production, including the successful completion of Operational Acceptance standards
- Liaison with Change Management and the Operational Acceptance Manager to agree the content and deployment strategy of a change
- Ensuring all items that make up a release are secure and traceable via configuration management
- Managing customer and user expectations of releases and roll-outs
Professional skills framework(s): IT and Engineering Profession
At the heart of the Met Office IT and Engineering Profession is the Professional Skills Framework. This has been developed from industry-wide IT and Engineering Professional Competence frameworks. This enables our framework to be used for developing careers within the Met Office, by individuals working in any engineering discipline. It will also be used for defining role profiles which are needed to provide career paths, and to enable HR activities to be carried out, i.e. assessment and recruitment of staff.
Basis of framework
The Met Office IT and Engineering Professional Skills Framework is based on the Competence Framework that has been adopted for the
Government IT Profession . This framework was itself based on the SFIAplus (Skills for the Information Age) competences as defined by the British Computer Society (BCS) to meet the needs of IT professionals. SFIAplus not only covers the technical skills, but it also specifies the levels of responsibilities which increase as your technical experience and skill increase.
Roles and career opportunities
There are roles, see below, at all stages of the lifecycle of a service/application from initiation with requirements gathering through to the delivery and support of the service.
- Interpret and analyse complex business needs to clarify the understanding of the drivers for business change.
- Collate, analyse and simplify requirements, risks and issues from multiple high profile stakeholders to support business decision making.
- Collate and validate options and estimates for implementing complex business change to produce feasibility studies that recommend optimum solutions for the business.
- Monitor, verify and forecast project progress and finances against the plan to identify any issues affecting project delivery or achievement of the business case and to initiate corrective action where necessary.
- Direct and motivate the project team to ensure project tasks are completed in line with the project plan and required standards.
- Review specifications and design software modules or applications to clarify, and provide estimates for, development activity needed to meet stated requirements.
- Develop and test software modules to ensure they meet stated requirements and are fit for introduction into operational use as part of a properly-engineered information system.
- Create a test plan for projects, ensuring software is tested fully to minimise defects and meet customer and Met Office requirements.
- Analyse requirements in order to create tests for each one to ensure software is tested fully.
- Design and execute test scripts, in order to test software functionality and usability, recording defects found to minimise problems encountered by the customer.
- Systematic (configuration) management of Met Office data/information, thereby safeguarding intellectual property rights and ensuring that the business continues to function in all contingencies.
- Manage, develop, deliver, document and support the tools required for the software development environment and deliver configuration management of stored artefacts to support the development and of services for customers.
- Conducts security control reviews for a full range of control types and techniques, for business applications and computer installations, and recommends appropriate action to ensure business integrity.
- Conducts business risk assessments for business applications and computer installations and recommends appropriate action to ensure business integrity.
- Identifies threats to the confidentiality, integrity, availability, accountability and relevant compliance of information systems, and provides authoritative advice and guidance on the application and operation of all types of security controls, including legislative or regulatory requirements such as data protection and software copyright law to ensure Met Office integrity.
- Responds to incidents as agreed in Service Level Agreements, investigating and diagnosing complex network problems, working with users, other staff and suppliers as appropriate. Resolves such problems, co-operating with the capacity management function, to maintain overall network performance and operational continuity.
- Uses network management systems software and appropriate analysis equipment to collect routine network load statistics, device performance, and create reports, including proposals for improvement to ensure business continuity.
- Analyses site-survey reports and contributes to specifications of requirements and plans for installation and commissioning of hardware and software to ensure business continuity.
- Respond to incidents as agreed in Service Level Agreements, investigating problems and other requests for support and determine appropriate actions to take to ensure operational continuity.
- Provides correct responses to requests for support, ensuring all work is carried out and documented in accordance with required standards, methods and procedures, ensuring Business continuity.
- Maintains application systems for which responsible, notes problems and identifies performance trends, taking corrective action to improve performance and to avoid problems arising.
Last Updated: 11 May 2011