Thursday, 3 December 2009

Cabinet Office IT strategy

I’m surprised that the draft strategy (I don't have a URL) doesn’t have rather more to say on the use of ICT as an enabler of business change. It seems to focus on doing ICT better, no problem there, but misses the point that doing the right thing is more important than doing the wrong thing better.

I’d expect to see ICT within the context of achieving business change, i.e. something like:
  • Describing the demands that impact the public sector e.g. funding available, size, shape and flexibility
  • Identifying areas that would benefit from change
  • Describing processes for reaching consensus on what outcomes are desirable and achievable, including how to factor in opportunities created by ICT
  • Guidance on designing programmes / projects that minimise and control risk
  • Explanation of the non ICT activities essential to the achievement of business change
Then the ICT specifics e.g. GCloud and desktop infrastructure etc. would be positioned as enabling infrastructure.

Looking at an area that particularly interests me, privacy. There is plenty of high level commitment to seamless data and information sharing but no consideration of what should be shared and what controls on sharing are appropriate. This illustrates an focus on what can we do rather than a business consideration what is actually needed to create value.

I’m happy to be shot down on this, much of the material is sensible “how to” stuff underpinning an ICT strategy and arguably it’s better to have it out there rather than wait for something that is business led. It may even trigger major procurements to build the new underpinning infrastructure and revitalise the ICT industry although this brings out another missing piece, how will this be funded?

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