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?

There have been recent articles in the press about the potential threat posed by large platforms like AWS, MSFT Azure or Salesforce to SME suppliers working in the government space.

Silly Debates

There has been this article published recently on the Tech Republic. http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/10things/10-reasons-you-should-build-your-own-cloud/3637?tag=mantle_skin;content It is ridiculous and misguided to the point of being dangerous (just at the point where real cases of savings are appearing, it suggests a backwards approach), but it has promoted some pretty interesting debate: I am simply copying some of the comments… Read more »

Address Data

We’re having to process a lot of data at work. We’re spinning through data from a legacy system and parsing the data which has been kept in all sorts of different formats for addresses. An awful lot of data doesn’t have spaces where you’d think spaces should be so I’m left looking for solutions… I… Read more »

Screen resolution statistics

Being the geek I am I get carried away with statistics regarding the audience devices I’ll need to develop for, coming from an art(ish) background means that this is doubly important for me. While looking for some detailed metrics on this I came across this page on the W3C site which links to this page… Read more »

New Commercial Models Emerging from the Cloud (PART 2)

Choosing the right solution for the right capability. Although standardisation undoubtedly brings benefits, easier interoperability of cloud systems means that, ultimately, the council can afford to have 3 different systems delivering the same capability to different user groups. Example: in a borough council, the desktop productivity solution could be Google for 800 or so users, with about 600… Read more »

“individuality is likely to carry a high price tag”

(Many thanks to txay for permission to use this fantastic image) Wow! What a quote from Martin Read, taken from this article in publicTECHNOLOGY.NET. It reminded me of something I read on gigaom some while ago when they were looking at barriers to the take up of cloud based solutions. To put the quote into… Read more »

Threat to ICT jobs

Many more organisations in the local government are starting their move to at least hybrid provision of services. The path is pretty well etched now: ICT organisational restructuring -> Policy and Capability review (including data analysis and separation) -> TCO analysis -> Pilots / Migrations -> Integration -> Support and Management. This post is focused… Read more »

Public Sector Entrepreneurship

As everyone knows (and is almost tired of hearing), there are huge pressures on local government to cut costs.ICT teams, traditionally seen as being on the fringes of the organisation, are typically the first port of call for such cutbacks. Slashing systems, support, outsourcing solutions, consulting, and most importantly people, is the expected course of… Read more »