Why we shouldn’t go back to normal after COVID-19 – let your cloud be the silver lining
With people imagining what life will be like following the current pandemic, you often see them quoted as expecting working life to ‘go back to normal’. For me, that won’t work.
First thing’s first – I don’t think anyone could have done anything to prevent the level of disruption we are currently facing. No amount of preparation will give adequate protection from a once in a hundred years event. No amount of planning, stocking or preparing was going to cut it. Saying “we are not prepared” applies to almost every country and every business. The honest answer is that it costs too much to be prepared for something so rare and so extreme as this.
How planners can work with the cloud in this environment
The current extraordinary situation we find ourselves in has overtly demonstrated the need for those in procurement to rethink the questions that get asked about business continuity. It’s normally a dry and dull subject tucked away at the back of the tender documents, which is replied to with a stock answer detailing data centre availability and the like. Until now, no-one has ever asked: “How will your solution assist our business continuity in the case of an emergency?”
2020 Public Sector tech predictions
“When it comes to local government, it seems that open data and open standards will take more prominence. A few authorities across the UK have already put this in motion, such as the Greater London Authority (GLA), where the ambition is to create a ‘live hub’ of planning and development information, accessible to all Londoners.
What does 2020 hold for planning tech?
I was asked recently about what I think 2020 will bring for planning tech. My response to that question might not paint a futuristic picture of digitally rendered buildings but what we’re likely to see is just as interesting. The key to all this is recognising that there is a difference between what we’d like to see in planning, and what we will actually see come to market.
How real is the threat posed by big platforms to SMEs in the public sector market?
The potential threat posed by large platforms like AWS, Microsoft Azure and Salesforce to SME suppliers in the public sector has raised concerns about an ‘oligopoly’ of larger companies taking over the market with SMEs struggling for breathing space. How real is the threat, and should SMEs be concerned? Is the playing field really as unequal as some people think?
PART 5 – The Perfect Partner
Clearly, I am a bit biased here, but I do think that it is possible to get a good partner for digital transformation, as long as one understands what this means for their organisation.
PART 4 – The Digital Transformation Dream Team
When you have the vision and plan in place for digital transformation, it is time to consider who inside the local authority can do this. There are already a lot of blogs about leadership, and they all share one message: without strong leadership, transformation programmes are not possible.
PART 3 – A good transformation vision
What does real transformation look like? Digital, shiny and beautiful. Of course, the big T is not, and should not be, a one-off traumatic event, never to be repeated. Like a revolution, it may have a beginning, but it will not have an end.
PART 2 – Types of ‘fake transformation’
In my view, there are several distinct types of ‘fake transformation’ in the public sector. I want to list them here, because understanding them is very helpful in deciding how to proceed and how to avoid project issues or failures.
PART 1: The Horror of ‘fake transformation’
With digitisation of services becoming a priority for many local authorities, I often see them push ahead with a ‘transformation’ project in one shape or another. It could be digital (in fact, it almost always is), or perhaps focused more on people or services. Some observers prefer to call it ‘change’, or an ‘improvement programme’. Whichever way you word it, some version of this exists in almost every single department.
Forget the jargon: focus on the objective when it comes to cloud-first
Recently, New Statesman Tech reported on plans from the Government Digital Service (GDS) to review its ‘Cloud-first’ policy in 2020. Although it’s now clear that there are no plans to revise or rename the policy, we do understand why GDS might want to give the ‘Cloud-first’ policy a new perspective and perhaps contemplate the meaning behind phrases “cloud smart” or “cloud first”. We really welcome this clarification and fully support it. After all, realism is key for the success of a digital transformation project.