Red X iconGreen tick iconYellow tick icon
Category Information Technology
Type Policy
Approved by Vice-Chancellor
Date Policy Took Effect 11 December 2023
Last approved revision 
Sponsor Chief Operating Officer
Responsible officerChief Digital Officer


To ensure that Staff and Postgraduate students have access to an IT Workstation necessary to efficiently undertake the activities their role requires.

Organisational scope

This policy applies to all IT Workstations funded by the University. It includes IT Workstations allocated to individual users, research initiatives, and allocated to shared spaces for teaching, meetings, signage, and other purposes. This policy does not cover other IT equipment such as printers, network devices such as network switches, or servers.


IT Workstation
Refers to a device that is either a desktop or laptop computer or a tablet, including any associated peripherals such as monitors, cables, keyboards, etc.
Dedicated IT Workstation
Refers to IT Workstations allocated to dedicated users.
‘Fit for purpose’
Refers to an IT Workstation that is designed to meet the specific needs and goals of the user to be able to efficiently carry out their work. ‘Fit for purpose’ IT Workstations will have the necessary technical specifications and features to support the user’s workload, will be reliable, and able to operate without frequent and ongoing hardware failures.
IT Workstation Budget Authority
The group or individual responsible for the central IT Workstation budget.
Information Technology Services.
Research Computers
Refers to IT Workstations or computers required for research purposes or computers attached to specialist machines.
Refers to Research and Teaching Information Technology Support within ITS.
Shared IT Workstations
Examples of shared IT Workstations are those allocated to computer laboratories and other teaching spaces, meeting rooms for video conferencing purposes, physical spaces for signage purposes, and departments where collective use achieves a business need or efficiency.
University of Otago staff
Refers to any permanent, temporary, or part-time staff members including Emeritus Professors.


1.  IT Workstations Provided

  1. In order to simplify the delivery of IT Workstation support and to increase efficiency and used, that aim is that 80% of all requests will be fulfilled from standard models, a further 15% of requests will be fulfilled from the enhanced models, while the final 5% will be fulfilled by custom specification or non-standard models.
  2. ITS will maintain a catalogue of standard and enhanced models of IT Workstations including peripherals, and tablets. The IT Workstation standard models will be regularly reviewed and refreshed where necessary in order to ensure the University maintains an up-to-date fleet.

2. Eligibility for a Dedicated IT Workstation

  1. The following types of IT Workstation users will be allocated a dedicated University of Otago IT Workstation while they remain in that user type:
    1. All University of Otago academic and professional staff, with roles that require it, will be allocated a dedicated IT workstation. Note that Other University of Otago staff not allocated a dedicated IT Workstation should have access to a shared IT Workstation with their Department
    2. Any thesis (PhD and Masters by thesis) student may request a standard IT Workstation based on justified need.
    3. No contractors will be allocated an IT Workstation, as it is expected that they provide their own device.
    4. Other users not eligible as staff or students may be allocated an IT Workstation on written justification from the Divisional head.
  2. Eligible users will be allocated one Dedicated IT Workstation.
  3. Dedicated IT Workstations are expected to be used for work and study related tasks.  IT Workstations not being used for this purpose are to be returned to ITS.
  4. On completion of employment, enrolment, or agreement, all allocated IT Workstations and all associated peripherals must be returned to ITS.
  5. Requests for additional dedicated IT workstations will need written justification from the user’s Departmental Head to be uploaded with the request.

3. Requesting IT Workstations

  1. All requests for IT Workstations are to follow the IT Workstations Procedure.
  2. Requests for enhanced IT Workstations and/or peripherals (from the standard catalogue) will need to demonstrate justified need.
  3. Non-standard IT Workstation or peripheral requirements (outside of the standard catalogue) will need to demonstrate justified need with that need confirmed by the Departmental head.
  4. Additional approvals from ITS may be required as detailed in the IT Workstations Procedure.
  5. Eligibility criteria for accessing enhanced and non-standard IT Workstations will be maintained and regular audits performed by ITS to ensure fair application of criteria.
  6. Requested Shared IT Workstations:
    1. Requests for additional shared IT Workstations will require written business justification to be uploaded with the request as per the following table:
    2. Request for Justification from
      Additional teaching IT Workstations Divisional Head
      Additional meeting or signage IT Workstations Divisional Head
      Additional shared departmental IT Workstations Departmental Head
    3. Where appropriate, it is expected that teaching IT Workstations be available to any University users.
    4. Where a request for additional shared IT Workstations is for multiple machines, the request may need approval from the IT Workstation Budget Authority.
    5. Replacement of shared IT Workstations will follow standard replacement policy as per Section 4.
  7. Requesting Research IT Workstations:
    1. Requests for additional Research IT Workstations will require written justification from the Departmental Head, with exception to those detailed in Section 6(b).
    2. It is understood that occasionally computers are bundled in with specialist equipment and it is impractical to separate them. The request form must still be completed so that management processes can be applied.
    3. Replacement of Research IT Workstations will follow standard replacement policy as per Section 4.

4. Replacing IT Workstations

  1. IT Workstations and monitors will be replaced by ITS on a cycle as per the following table:
  2. CategoryLifespan
    Laptop or desktops 5 years
    Monitors 10 years
    Tablets No specified lifespan
    IT workstation peripherals other than monitors No specified lifespan
    1. Research environment equipment may be retained to operate with attached instrumentation for as long as required and may not be replaced on any particular cycle. The retention of this equipment may be subject to restrictions for security reasons.
    2. Once an IT Workstation reaches the agreed lifespan, it should be replaced within 3 months. If there is no specific lifespan, then the item will be replaced only when ITS deems it fails the ‘Fit for purpose’ criteria as specific in the IT Workstations Procedure.
    3. Please note that the lifespan may differ from the Depreciation Estimated Useful Life specified in the Assets Procedure.
  3. Evidence of continued need may be required.
  4. Requests will be considered to replace an IT Workstation that is still within its prescribed lifecycle with evidence that it no longer meets the specific needs and goals of the user.
  5. An IT Workstation (or components of an IT Workstation) will be replaced with either new or repurposed items as seen fit by ITS.
  6. Any IT Workstation that is replaced must be returned to ITS.

5. Ownership of IT Workstations

  1. All IT Workstations will be centrally owned and managed by ITS.
  2. Any IT Workstations that are no longer needed are to be returned to ITS.

6. Purchasing of IT Workstations

  1. All IT Workstations will be purchased by ITS.
  2. Exceptions for external research funding sources:
    1. Where research funding or other funding sources are available to support the purchasing of IT Workstations either fully or partially, these funds will be recovered by the central funding ledger.
    2. IT Workstations purchased by the University of Otago, regardless of budget source, will be centrally owned by ITS though it is recognised that in some cases, the funder retains ownership of the purchased equipment.
    3. If the research project is completed and there are no conditions from funders to retain equipment ownership, all purchased IT Workstations under that research project will be returned to the central pool for redeployment or disposal unless the research continues, and the IT Workstation is still being actively used for that research purpose.
    4. If the staff member leaves the project while the research project is still ongoing, the equipment will be redeployed to the replacement staff rather than being returned to the central pool.

7. IT Workstation Asset Management

  1. All IT Workstations must be auditable at any time, for the purposes of asset management reporting, software management, IT support activity, and cyber security risk compliance.
  2. IT Workstations must be easily identified as a University IT asset for the purposes of auditing and support.

Related Policies, Procedure and Forms

Contact for further information about this Policy

If you have any queries regarding the content of this policy or need further clarification, contact:

Chief Digital Officer

Back to top