David Houston and I met with Gartner’s Nicola Bain to discuss our prospective relationship.

Our present contract covers, primarily, the research service used by Socitm Insight. (Several of our consultants are at the annual Gartner Symposium, in Cannes, this week.)

Socitm’s relationship used to include discounted pricing for the local government community, but this is now little used and, I am told, most authorities contract directly in their own right.

If we are to rebuild our relationship with Gartner, my view is that it should support our policy development, and we agreed a further meeting, or telephone conversation, initially, with a Gartner strategist in furtherance of that aim.

In addition, we agreed to exchange monthly updates on events planning in order to effectively plan opportunities for cross-marketing and representation.

I met James Lee, again, and his Legal Advisor, so that they could take me through the proposed contract for the Public Sector Mobile Portal before I submit it to Newham’s Legal Services for approval. Although not yet signed, its provisions, which provide Newham with a 50% share of net revenue in the borough, are now effective.

Following which, David Hopkins had asked if I would address Siemens Public Sector Management Team, at their offices in Old Bailey, on “selling to Local Government in times of uncertainty”. They got my interpretation of the environment that suppliers are now faced with, heavily laced with views of how we, with our industry partners, should be approaching issues like digital convergence and social networking.

I had arranged to stay in-town and meet-up with Adrian and David to prepare for Thursday’s Board meeting, and review the agenda and priorities going forward. We were booked-into the Bloomsbury Park Hotel, in Southampton Row, where we met in the bar and worked before and after dinner, finishing about 11.30pm.

I’ll include details of some of our discussion in the next President’s report, but it ranged over matters like succession planning, setting a budget for the Socitm office, commercial planning, marketing and incentivisation, and recharging of corporate services.

I’ve lost the link, for now, but did you read that the Prime Minister said, when commenting about the latest loss of a memory stick with some (encrypted) Government Gateway log-in credentials, that “total security cannot be guaranteed” (or words to that effect)?

At last – stating the blooming obvious, but it means that we all must plan accordingly and think not just about making systems as secure as possible, but also contingency and how to respond if there is a breach.