It was decided to postpone the Cabinet Report on ICT infrastructure until February. I met with colleagues to agree action required in the meantime, including briefing/ lobbying, further development of Data Centre proposals, briefing the new CCTV Service Head, completion of the Traffic Trial, supplier liaison, budget re-profiling and fall-back options – just in case!
Another meeting to discuss Newham's web-site strategy. We have deliberately acquired most Newham domain names in order to maximise control over our web presence, but it seems to have had the reverse effect as our presence is fragmented through multiple sites with varying content and branding – although .gov remains the core site for Newham service delivery.
The Head of Communications told me, last week, that he plans to develop .com as the site shared among all Newham stakeholders for marketing the borough, which seems reasonable. However, we were agreed that Newham.gov.uk should remain "the" Council site, and all other associated sites should be rationalised within it. Now we must gain sign-off of formally documented web strategy and policies, and implement the proposals.
The first "ICT Stakeholder Group" meeting was held this morning at the Old Town Hall, Stratford. Newham used to have an ICT Strategy Group, which I disbanded several years ago, with the agreement of the Chief Executive, who was then our e-Champion, because it was ineffective. If it worked at all, other than as a Talking Shop, it was too much at an operational level. We have since striven to gain services' management engagement with driving their businesses' ICT strategy, whilst centralising operational ICT resources.
The ICT Stakeholder Group, to be chaired in its first year by Andrew Gill, from Public Realm, will supplement other liaison media - such as the Portfolio Management service, the Council's Strategic Management Board and the ICT Support Centre – to provide a forum for consultation with services' business management on ICT strategy and service delivery.
I met Caroline Guntern-Shea, from Anite, for lunch to discuss proposals for the development of a Corporate Records Management system based-upon SharePoint, Anite's ICLipse product and the Quest e-Mail archiving system to be implemented in the New Year.
After lunch I chaired "IGIG", Newham's Information Governance Implementation Group. This is the corporate group that oversees all policy related to Information Governance regulation, Information management strategy and ICT security. There was a packed agenda for our meeting, which lasted for nearly two hours. The content was heavy going, but tremendously important, and I felt that we need to find ways to enliven the debate. I think shorter, more frequent, meetings would be preferable. I asked IGIG members to let me have their suggestions on how to make the meeting content more engaging, and stressed the importance of their work.
At our next meeting we will be considering, among other things, proposed policy relating to Windows Live Communications (Instant Messaging, Presence, Conferencing etc). I have a promotional film from Microsoft, based on "The Devil Wears Prada" to introduce the topic.
Nigel Bates and Matt Cole from Hedra, who manage our Microsoft Shared Learning Group Programme Office, met Bob Heaton with me to enlist his support in creating an Executive Sponsorship Board for our Group. He was very supportive, and agreed to help us establish the board, with a view to a first meeting about February. We discussed minimising the pressures on Executives' time by using the technology – i.e. Live Communications. In the meantime, Nigel and Matt are meeting with other partner executives to brief them on our achievements, discuss future work plans and the sponsorship requirements.