Thanks, Mike Simons, for pointing-out that the UK is not only part of the cross-border e-identification project (known as STORK) but is actually leading it. I should have looked-in ComputerWorldUK in the first place!
I am quite impressed with the new Scotland Performs web-site. The country does seem to have made rapid progress (IT-wise, at least) since devolution.
Today was a long day! I attended a BCS (British Computer Society) breakfast meeting that started at 8 am at the Dorchester, which meant getting-up at five to ensure I'd be there on time. I'm glad I made the effort. The meeting - "collaborating on challenges facing CEOs" – was to discuss how to implement the recommendations from an excellent report just published by the BCS – "Business Leadership of Technological Change".
The concerns addressed by the five recommendations are listed below; the meeting, attended by senior representatives of industry and government, was under Chatham House rules, of course, but I have attached one or two sound bites from the meeting to each of them.
• Creating transformational value rather than just implementing IT projects.
In OGC and other Gateway Reviews, IT, on average, is the subject of just 20% of the questions. Doesn't this give some indication of where the main ownership for change lays?
• Building capability for ongoing change.
The Board's buy-in and appetite for change are key.
• Creating a climate of open communications. Not just through the hierarchy, but through the "diagonal slice".
• Managing confidence and risk. Team ownership of the Risk Register is of key importance for the SRO (Senior Responsible Officer).
• Building personal capability and learning about the business and IT.
Senior business managers to spend spells in IT and vice versa?
Finally, create a "burning platform". E.g. Switch-off legacy!
From the Dorchester, I went to meet Guy Giles, of Digi TV (Looking Local) at the Adam Street Club, near Charing Cross. We discussed, among other things, the PSMP (Public Sector Mobile Portal) in which Newham is a leading player. I hadn't appreciated that this will actually be fed by the Digi TV Bureau Service, and the content will also, therefore, be available on all Digi TV platforms – Sky, Virgin and terrestrial services.
The feeds already include Job Centre Plus, Choice-Based Lettings, some CRM (Customer Relationship Management) systems, Payments (such as Council Tax, Rent and Sundry Debtors) and others, such as NHS Choices, are being added.
Guy explained that Digi TV has now won a NHS project working with Tunstall and other organisations to "pump-prime" TeleCare/ TeleHealth services on IP-connected devices. There is clearly a great deal of synergy with developments that Newham is engaged with, and I'd also like to consider how Socitm can help to promote this work.
Then, back to Building 1000, where I met Iain Smith, of Diaz Research, with Adrian Hancock. Iain has developed a niche research service on ICT HR (Human Resources) matters. He has some impressive blue-chip clients, almost exclusively from the private sector, but our meeting was to explore whether we could develop a public sector offering through Socitm. There was interest on both sides, and we agreed some points to consider and consult further on before making any commitments.
In the evening I attended a Chemistry Club meeting. Sir David Varney was the speaker. I asked an overly long question about gaining public trust in the government's ability to look after its information, and got an answer the question deserved – along the lines of "there is a real difficulty in balancing deterrence (of criminality) with encouragement to share data for better, more joined-up service, and this is a problem shared with the private sector".
I left, as always, after the speaker, and before supper. Apparently, socialising, for some, extends to midnight, and beyond; I must try that sometime! Got home at 10:30.