Gary Flood, editor of PublicTechnology.net, gives us his views on the changes going on in the public sector.
What do you think is the top priority for IT decision makers in the public sector at the moment?
Plainly, it's dealing with the cuts. If ten years ago we wanted to use resource to achieve 'e-government' and more joining up, now the emphasis is on what I have to call, using an old fashioned term perhaps, 'business process re-engineering'. I think there are some questions arising as to how well they're doing that, with some stakeholders claiming back office reform isn't enough to deal with the new realities, and others reporting real progress, cost savings and happier service users.
What innovative ways have you seen public sector organisations use technology to cut costs?
Not sure innovation's the right word. In many ways, we're seeing old ideas having their fair hearing, perhaps, like outsourcing and shared services. But the Cloud is obviously 'new' - at least in the way it's being packaged – so that's a focus for interesting work. I'm starting to hear more and more about Smart City and Big Data/Open Data.
How will we see BYOD develop in the public sector?
My answer is to quote a recent columnist on the site; if you don't do something positive here, you'll soon be looking at a 'Peasants' Revolt'. It's a factor, you can't escape it. I think it's a management and culture change issue now, not a tech one. That might change when I start running stories about big BYOD-related security problems… touch wood I don't!
Do you think any one element of the public sector is doing more to innovate than any other?
To be frank, it's the same as it has been for some time; local's leading, the NHS is struggling and the centre's a slow-moving juggernaut. Education is doing some cool things, too, mind.
Will we start to see a more rapid uptake of shared services now the G-Cloud is online?
Not sure they are related. If there is a tech driver there I suspect it's PSN, the business driver being more acceptance of Jvs/outsourcing.
Do you think public sector organisations are more cautious when it comes to moving to the cloud?
Not really, but it's uneven. I'd like to see some big Whitehall buy-in soon.
What technologies have you got your eye on at the moment?
PSN, Cloud, Big Data, Open Data, BYOD, security and social media are words I think I type pretty much once an hour! :-)