Monday, 8 February 2010

Getting used to facing inward

In my previous role within the Society I got used to being seen around various bits of government and getting involved in policy and steering groups and all kinds of outward facing activity, but now it is very different.


However, as an aside, part of my old role, policy, has been taken up with energy and skill by Martin Ferguson, Head of Policy, who is steering it, and the Society, exactly where we have wanted to be. Martin is, so to speak 'putting himself about a bit' so much so that there are weeks when I am fairly sure he must have a clone as he appears to be speaking or meeting in at least two places simultaneously. If you would like to learn more about the Head of Policy role and its importance for our members at the coalface there is a great double page interview with Martin in this months GC magazine. To remain for a while on my detour, Martin is ably aided and abetted by Mark Brett, Head of Information Assurance, who seems to be equally committed to the quest of omnipresence. Mark will be at the CIPCOG event in York on Feb 24th and 25th so if any of our members are going and want to collar him, why not give him advance warning mailto:mark.brett@socitm.gov.uk


As I looked out from the beginning of last week it dawned in me just how much of my role involves attending internal meetings, getting into the details of running a company and very little getting out and about in government. That's not a complaint at all, as too many companies suffer for lack of attention to the running of them, it's just a difference to which you need to adjust. Tuesday saw me considering the details and implications of becoming a charity, something we have often considered in Socitm but which is certainly not yet the right course of action. I caught up for a one to one with Mark Brett on Wednesday morning, before going to the Insight steering group. The group is held at Seimens offices near the Old Bailey, for which we are incredibly grateful to Seimens as they are our regular hosts for a number of Socitm meetings. ( http://www.siemens.co.uk/entry/en/ )


It is going to be an exciting and fairly bumpy ride over the next few years right across the public sector but IT is still ideally, possibly uniquely, placed to enable the delivery of significant efficiency savings. There may well be a wave of pessimism, but those who focus upon the real business benefits that appropriate and properly implemented IT can deliver will reap rewards. The Insight programme, as with other initiatives across the Society will have more to say about these issues as the year progresses. As a Society we will be looking at the realities and issues around achieving 'better for less' (we are not too taken with 'more for less' as it contains no qualitative element) our overarching policy framework looking at 'Tomorrow's public services' will begin to examine future options and opportunities in the light of a better understanding about psn, G Cloud etc. Of course with our expanded corporate vision we also have a remit to consider the interests and requirements of members from the Third Sector who often get a pretty raw deal when it comes to national government initiatives. Their names are often scattered throughout a strategy document but with precious little practical detail so they can easily end up with the responsibility of service delivery without the resources or infrastructure that we may take for granted. We have a lively and growing Third Sector group from whom I am sure we will be hearing quite a lot.


After Insight I rushed up to 1 Alfred Place (quite a find, check it out: http://www.onealfredplace.co.uk/) to meet with a guy called Bill Wells (an introduction made on Twitter.....) who has a company called 2dot0.co.uk (www.2dot0.co.uk )and they have some phenomenally clever visual technology that can enhance and add value to any digitally streamed video...I was well impressed and will certainly be exploring this further. I am considering how it may be used in conjunction with Socitm TV (www.socitm.tv )Watch this space.........

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