Government ICT Conference 2014

The Government ICT Conference 2014 was held in London’s Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre on Tuesday.

The event kicked off with a keynote address by Tony Singleton, Chief Operation Officer and Deputy Director Operations, Government Digital Service on delivering digital services and embracing the G-Cloud.

He said that with the fast changing nature of IT, the delivery phase of digital services needs to shorter and sharper, two to three months, adding that selecting the right supplier is key and the process of buying things on the G-Cloud should be agile.

He described the G-Cloud as a transparent and competitive market place, adding that a new performance dashboard is to go live soon and work is being done to refine the web experience. He added that the G-Cloud constantly needs to be kept updated and a larger supplier base needs to be built so that prices go down as competition increases.

He pointed out increasing the customer base was a real challenge as, according to one survey, 80% of local authorities are not aware of the G-Cloud, even though those who are are making great use of it.

Singleton was followed by Ben Grinnell, Director at North Highland. According to him, at the close of 2013 almost every element of the government digital strategy – such as, agile development and open data – have been proven, and now the question is how to get everyone on board. “Will we follow the trailblazers or be part of the legacy problem?” he asked the audience.

The last talk of the morning was by John Jackson, Chief Information Officer and Assistant Director (ICT) at the London Borough of Camden. He said the Internet of Things is transformational and exciting, and brings with it things like sensors in bins, allowing trash collectors to instantly know whether a bin is full or not, saving them time and money.

He also stressed on the importance of building open systems rather than ‘one size fits all’ models, as well as digital centres of excellence for big data,BYOD and agile working.

His colleague Tim James pointed out that Mobile Information Management is the next best thing and praised Accellion, a software with a Dropbox-style interface that allows employees to share files of all sizes in a secure manne and gives access to SharePoint without using VPN.

Jackson said that security needs to be thought about in a collaborative way and people need to better understand risks and be held accountable.

James also said that while some councils are just starting to adopt BYOD, Camden Council has been doing it for three years, and many councils come to Camden for advice on it.

Love it or hate it, BYOD is here to stay, so don’t pretend it won’t happen, rather think about how to unlock its potential,” Jackson concluded.

The conference also included speakers like Gavin Beckett, Chief Enterprise Architect, Bristol City Council Jeremy Boss, Chief Information Officer, Department for Energy and Climate Change and had exhibitions by companies like Skyscape, Dell, HootSuite and Jadu.


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