September 12, 2011
communications, ict, web
Earlier today I went to a meeting in my capacity as a school governor and like you do in meetings where you’ve never met people before you often introduce yourself and explain a bit about your background and skills etc.
Well I broadly introduce myself as someone who is interested in Social Change but works (in a professional sense) in and around the areas of Web, Communications and ICT as well as social enterprise business models and I’d like to help my school and the wider learning community improve outcomes for children – nothing too complicated but saves me going on an on about what I believe in…wouldn’t want to bore people I’ve not really met yet, plus we were limited for time.
It was a very interesting meeting and had a very wide range of skills and interests in the room from Head Teachers (Primary and Secondary) to School Administrators to Solicitors to Architects to Procurement people and well me!!
The first thing that made me chuckle and got me thinking about the label I had given myself was that the projector didn’t work - so one person commented “ask the IT guy!” Well obviously I got up and pushed some buttons and looked like I knew what I was doing but it was someone behind me who actually turned the plug off and then on again which actually resolved the problem – that old chestnut!
But what I found interesting about this was the assumption that I knew how to fix it, just because I said I was interested in ICT meant I knew how to fix projectors to other people ICT is a very big domain and most (not all) people think it is all pretty much the same…
The funny thing about this to me, is that I do not consider myself an IT guy, however that is informed by my interaction with far more technically gifted people than I, but sometimes (and generally too late to change anything) I forget that simply saying IT to most people means that you can fix the computer, as well as probably being able to build one, fix the projector and sort out the broadband or wi-fi problems as well….Lesson learned and note to self: change my introduction and be more specific when describing my interests.
However I will get my chance to contribute in an area I feel confident in as I was the obvious first choice for a sub group around communications and websites.
So not all bad….but I fear that I will become the “IT go to guy” from now on…
May 11, 2010
Architecture, Innovation, Local Government
business, Business / IT Alignment, business transformation, CIO, enterprise architecture, Enterprise Business Architecture, ict, Transformation
For those who don’t know me – I work as an Enterprise Architect in Corporate ICT for Devon County Council – The challenge for an Enterprise Architect is to focus on the whole Business and not just the IT function or service – we are employed to facilitate Transformational Change across the whole Business. Not an easy job as such but a very interesting and challenging one.
So for me what I do is ALL about the Business of the County Council.
I have recently posted (a collaborative effort with Martin Howitt) on our team blog about the wider implications of the changing landscape of corporate ICT and how that effected our ability to realise cost savings to the scale we hear about and need to deliver.
But we must first address some key issues and get organisational acceptance to some basic building blocks of Effective and Efficient organisations.
IT offers no value on its own. It really is ALL about the Business. The people outside of IT (Business People) are the people in control of the organisation and they specify the priorities and direction through strategy. So why don’t they control IT more effectively? Why isn’t there one Governance stream in an organisation – Business Governance?
IT governance is really business governance. In many organizations, IT has led the way in implementing governance over critical decisions related to strategy, business architecture, investments, change, programs, risk and sourcing. Over time, organizations have realized that decisions in these areas need to be coordinated across the enterprise and have elevated and consolidated these activities outside and above IT.
Via – HBR – What does the future hold for IT?
In the team post we talk about how core IT competencies need to be mainstreamed into the Business. What we really mean by this is that Business Leaders should have the skills and competencies to procure IT solutions, manage IT contracts and drive value from the investments they make – not just in IT.
Another issue which is critical is how will the current Heads of IT or CIO’s deal with the current financial situation.
I see two options in local government:
- Drive cost savings, innovation and transformation in the organisation through radical approaches to ICT delivery and infrastructure.
- Play safe and wait for someone in the Business to make the decision for them
If I were a CIO or head of IT, i know which one i would rather opt for as Option 2 pretty much spells “outsourcing” to me.
The following presentation covers the CIO dilemma well and is worth checking out.
April 19, 2010
Architecture, Local Government
alfresco, Cost Savings, eGIF, google, ict, microsoft, open office, socitm
I suspect many authorities are looking at how they can cut back on the costs of delivering ICT and i suspect that solutions like Google Apps, Open Office and Alfresco are likely to be quite high up on some peoples lists as viable alternatives.
The challenge however is to actually demonstrate that over the lifetime of the solution the costs are lower than your existing solution or upgrade path.
It isn’t as straight forward as simply saying we can reduce our costs by moving from Microsoft and MS Office to Google Apps, and others as we still have legacy systems that require a Microsoft environment or an element of the wider Microsoft suite to operate.
In local government we have some critical business applications that would fit into this bucket and we could only really start to make an impact on the suppliers if along with other local authorities we started to approach them collectively about developing an integration module for Open Office or Google Apps or whatever was required to allow a greater freedom and increased flexibility within our wider infrastructure. Over time of course we need to start buying software that truly adheres to open standards and are compliant with eGIF. (eGovernment Interoperability Framework). But that is a journey and will not happen over night.
We perhaps need organisations like Socitm to starting taking a more proactive lead in facilitating Public Sector Agencies to explore and help cost out the transition from one environment to another. I suspect this is a Consulting Service from Socitm, but it almost needs to be more widely available and in partnership across regions or types of council to start to offer value.
So what are you and your organisation doing to reduce costs in ICT? I am keen to hear about stories and case studies from other organisations (public sector would be great) who have made radical changes in their infrastructure and realised cost savings and had positive feedback from within the business.