Recently we have had the G-Cloud, allegedly making the world of Public Sector a leaner and meaner environment with Cloud based technologies. Now we have Big Data, Smart Business Analytics, In-Memory computing and the latest disruptive hype technologies such as BYOD.
Do any of these technologies associated with Enterprise Information and its management and analysis make any business sense to implement or even support the ability to deliver truly audit-able cash savings to the citizen and tax payer within Public Sector?
Incentivising the elephant in the room
I wonder how many Public Sector organisations who have attempted to join the Cloud bandwagon have truly realised business benefits from the exercise of transitioning to the Cloud? Or has it simply transitioned cost centres whilst increasing business risk, in many cases without even recognising it!
Interestingly when you look at the Public Sectors uptake of Cloud and the millions of pounds of investment System Integrators have spent on Cloud it would appear that uptake is trailing the private sector significantly.
Perhaps this is down to public sector job security, information security or simply down to politics. Or perhaps the lack of teeth our government has in terms of enforcing uptake of standard technology footprints to support day-to-day IT business operations across public sector organisations.
Maybe it’s because Central government is pretty polarised in the hands of a few SI’s making plenty of money (who are less likely to challenge the status quo unless forced to do so).
Perhaps before Central Government hands out the annual budgets to Local Authorities they might consider additional incentives to those seeking rationalisation and Enterprise Information sharing with other Local Authorities on their IT expenditure leveraging the aforementioned technologies efficiently and effectively.
I do find the lack of a consistent and common approach to Enterprise Information across Public Sector organisations is dismal (accepting that there will always be exceptions to the norm so please don’t shoot me). A while back I looked through the approach to Enterprise Information in both Sweden and Austria and found it to be incredibly forward thinking in context of Enterprise Information Management and sharing. I truly wonder with the sad events in Manchester this week whether greater and faster access to Enterprise Information across the public sector services enterprise just might have made a difference.
Power in the hands of a few – bring on Crowd Sourcing interacting
with Enterprise Information
Is it because Members and Chief Executives do not want to loose power by sharing Council infrastructure which opens up the possibilities of front and back office business processes collaboration on Enterprise Information. Ultimately leading to headcount reductions (or more common re-allocation of heads to other places!) and of course the obligatory loss of citizen popularity and ultimately political power for the few.
Having spent many years working in public sector IT organisations in and around Enterprise Information I have seen many irrational decisions taken simply to avoid a loss of power and control much in the face of constructive challenge. I would challenge public sector organisations to ask themselves the following questions. Of the 150 or so local services they all must provide why can’t they be the same, use the same technology and share the same Enterprise Information sets and interoperability ? Why when technology exists such as secure virtual private clouds with data residency in the UK is there still a massive fear of using these technologies under the banner of security!
One thing I do know is that organisations who are looking towards adoption of these news technologies should sit down and work out first of all what their objectives are and try some innovation around these new technologies to understand their use cases.
After all most of the benefits in the above aforementioned technologies will never be delivered through a paper on glass implementation of technology or even worse a lack of business case. These technologies require true Business Transformation to effect cashable and non-cashable savings. Technology implementations will never work!
Innovation is required to seek to identify new use cases which could never have been previously achieved with the aforementioned technology. Unless public sector organisations are encouraging innovation techniques such as Crowd Sourcing then i would doubt if there is a robust business case in sight.
A final thought
Perhaps Public Sector organisations should use Crowd Sourcing technology to understand how its citizens could support Local Authorities effectively in the discovery of such new innovative use cases!
Perhaps its time that Social e-Democracy from the “Outside” was used to help deliver more cost efficient services from “Inside” Public Sector organisations supporting more transparent sharing of Enterprise Information across all Public Sector services.