I worked at home, and got through my email backlog!
ComputerWeekly carried quite good article from Microsoft, I thought, on Social Computing and security.
I circulated some notes about one of the meetings I attended earlier in the week, in response to which Shane wrote to me. I thought the following worth reporting (with his permission):
I like the part about in-sourcing and I totally agree about not accepting the massive XXX-type organisations. I think that Newham has always had this philosophy anyway and it has paid off. Having also worked on the other side of the IT industry the goals of commercial companies are nothing more than to make money for shareholders.
A little while back I was thinking about why I was so happy in my work here. My conclusion was for 2 reasons:
1. Because I wasn't managing 250 staff who all wanted training and better equipment, and pay rises and better treatment, and having to motivate them in an environment where there was a pay freeze for three years running and no training or decent equipment for them etc.
2. Fundamentally though it was about the conflict of developing trusting relationships with customers, like your good self, whilst being pressured to squeeze every penny of profit possible out of the contract. I don't believe that the argument for outsourcing really stacks up because the sums are never done properly. Bottom line is that a commercial company has to make a profit and this is an added cost to the service, plus VAT in many cases so it takes a massive improvement in efficiency to outweigh these costs and still deliver a better service. Hence most outsourced contracts are riddled with hidden costs that pop up after contract signature and this is how the XXXs of the world make their money.