Transformational government – change through technology
The ‘Transformational Government' agenda is all about change enabled by technology, says Jos Creese, head of IT at Hampshire County Council and local t-gov editorial board member; and its about to step up a gear.
“In practice,” says Creese, “The technology is the least critical part – the really hard bit will be fundamentally changing how government and public services work and what they do.
“However, in all the debate about changing the working practices, culture and functions of government, it is easy to lose sight of the fact that little of this is achievable without effective implementation of modern technologies.”
There are a number of aspects to this that will be, in Creese's view, critical to the success of the national strategy:
- Putting in place much more responsive IT platforms and services in the public sector - many of which are currently fragmented across a disparate array of third party providers, often in contracts which are inflexible, expensive and out of date.
- Identity management – the ability to be able to authenticate different public service workers across different networks and organisations to work in shared teams, and the ability to be able to authenticate the public for personalised transactions.
- Integration – perhaps the biggest single challenge local government faces is around trying to control and harness the growing array of disparate and complex commodity technologies, from physical access devices through to software packages, information interchange and business process integration.
- Shared services and collaboration – ensuring that common IT infrastructure across different public service organisations allows joint working and joined up working.
- Highly reliable and function rich mobile and flexible working tools - enabling work to be something that you do rather than a place you go to.
Adds Creese, “Achieving this will need a pan government Enterprise Architecture approach which identifies the key areas of standards and common services – the railway track on which we can all run services.”