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NICS ICT Profession

The IT Profession within the NICS

The NICS currently employs approximately 600 IT Professionals in a broad range of roles,
from entry level ICT level 1 to Digital Leaders at ICT Level 8 (as below):

ICT Grade ICT Analogous Grade
ICT8 Grade 6
ICT7 Grade 7
ICT6 Deputy Principal (DP)
ICT5 Staff Officer (SO)
ICT4 Executive Officer 1 (EO1)
ICT3 Executive Officer 2 (EO2)
ICT2 Administrative Officer (AO)
ICT1 (Student/Apprentice) Administrative Assistant (AA)

By virtue of the role of government, our work affects life for the people who live and do business within Northern Ireland.

Driven by these diverse needs our IT Professionals play a pivotal role in delivering digital services that are cost effective, faster, accessible and more secure.

We have an ambitious ICT strategy to enable the NICS to radically improve service delivery to NI citizens and businesses through better use of efficient, effective and fit for purpose technology, processes and investment in our people.

The strategic direction in relation to digital service provision and the ICT infrastructure and services that support it is set out in two papers:

The implementation of these strategies presents exciting opportunities for us to explore how new technologies can change people’s lives for the better and ensure value for money in the delivery of Government services.

The NICS ICT Head of Profession

The NICS ICT Head of Profession, and Director of Digital Shared Services is Ignatius O'Doherty (Iggy)

Service Delivery

The IT Profession within the NICS is primarily engaged in service delivery in the following areas:

Departmental Line of Business ICT Services (LOB)

Departmental Line of Business ICT Services teams are responsible for supplying departmental specific ICT services and products to meet business needs within their parent department. This includes the full range of activities from analysis, specification, development, testing and operation through to maintenance and support of applications and systems.

Other activities undertaken by these teams include IS/IT/ICT advice and guidance and contract management services. Line of business systems are defined as unique to a department and can be either bespoke, commercial off the shelf or in some cases a mixture of both. These systems typically consist of those which have been developed in-house and those which have been sourced from a third party. Many of these are business critical providing key support for departmental service delivery. Departmental Line of Business ICT Services teams are also involved in the strategic work of the NICS and provide a relationship management function between IT and the customer department.

Enterprise Shared Services (ESS)

The primary function of ESS is to deliver efficient and effective customer focused services primarily to the NICS, although a number of services are also provided to the wider public sector. Enterprise Shared Services (ESS) is a directorate within the Department of Finance (DoF).

ESS brings together responsibility for HR, IT and Finance Shared Services, Properties Division and Digital Transformation Service (including NI Direct) into a single organisation within DoF.

The NICS ICT Technical Environment

The NICS uses a secure, resilient and flexible infrastructure which includes Tier 3 data centres, a single, dedicated, high-speed, network service connecting all NICS locations, robust local networks and virtualised server farms.

Access devices include:

  • PCs
  • Encrypted Laptops
  • Tablet Devices
  • Smart Phones

The NICS uses a mix of industry standard and bespoke applications, with many of the latter being developed in-house. Programming development languages include:

  • C#
  • Visual Basic
  • ANSI C
  • C++
  • Java
  • PHP
  • Visual Studio
  • JavaScript

Database environments include:

  • Oracle
  • Oracle Forms/Reports
  • SAP
  • MySQL

There is an extensive range of Web Design languages/tools in use including:

  • Dreamweaver
  • (X)HTML
  • CSS
  • JavaScript
  • Flash
  • Visual Studio
  • PHP
  • Opentext Drupal