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             Welcome to the QUESTnet 2011 Conference

                                          This year's conference is hosted by The University of Queensland.

Queensland Education, Science and Technology Network QUESTnet is the Queensland regional component of the Australian Academic and Research Network AARNet. The QUESTnet conference is an annual event aimed at ICT professionals who work closely with network technologies. A key focus of the event is to provide an opportunity for delegates to develop their professional and technical knowledge and to gain an appreciation of key strategic issues underpinning the development, deployment and maintenance of National and International telecommunications networks.

Message from the
Conference Chair
Rob Moffatt, AM
Director,
Information Technology
Services
The University of Queensland

This year's conference theme is Preparing for the Next Big Wave.
In the last five or so years we have seen a number of commercial technologies introduced which have changed the way students learn and how research is undertaken.  What is the next big technology wave; how do we recognise that it is upon us and ensure that we are prepared for the ride?  There is no doubt that these waves of new technology will continue, and their frequency will only shorten, driven by commercial demand and that of research which ultimately benefits the international community.

Step change in technology is expected, rather than variations on a theme.  The demand for rich content, in more easily accessed forms, and access to data wherever it resides will increase.  This in turn drives technology.  So it should come as no shock that our students expect the school and tertiary institution they attend to accommodate whatever gizmo they are currently using, and deliver learning content through that medium as well.  Student's online expectations are driving the eLearning environment and expectations on the physical campus.

There is clearly more demand on ICT to support the research community, particularly intensive research environments.  There is demand for increasing bandwidth, secure networking to protect intellectual property, and large amounts of on-line data storage. Global accessibility and good management of the (literally) exponentially increasing amount of research data is an issue many universities are facing.

So, how do we prepare for the next big wave?  How do we recognise the small swells that are over soon after they begin?  What is the demand here and now, how will it evolve, and what technologies are worth the investment and will reap huge returns for the higher education and research sectors and the world at large. Do we have the agility to meet these challenges? Well we had better acquire it, or we will be left in the wake of those that do.

I am sure that you will enjoy this year’s Conference with the exciting prospect of exploring these important issues through the valuable insights from our Conference presenters and participants.  See you there!

 

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