Quarkside

08/03/2011

ICT Skills Shortage. Mulligatawny Message.

Jos Creese’s blog Public Service Reform and IT exposes the problem faced by non-central government:

… the opportunities are significant to use existing local IT investment, infrastructure and skills to help reduce the impact on the public of contraction across the wider public sector.

There are, in my view, huge opportunities for local public services to work together. Too often in the past, government policy has focussed on national join-up (for example the NHS, Police, etc), but this has not delivered sufficient pace at an acceptable cost. We do need national policy and vision, but we also need local implementation.

The problem lies in the skills deficit, particularly for small districts in our feudal two tier system of local government.  How can hard-pressed ICT managers (CIOs may not exist there) be expected to implement TOGAF, OpenID and EAS in a structured approach to enterprise architecture?  How will they cope with Open Source procurements for eID and Individual Voter Registration?

Just watch the space if you want to see evidence of massive duplication of effort.  ICT strategic planning and enterprise architecture skills are spread too thinly for optimum efficiency.  It’s close to a recipe for Mulligatawny Soup.

Jos is right though, the smaller agencies authorities need to work together locally, in partnerships, where they can share a bowl of scarce skills.

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