A very interesting day all in all. It started out with a little trip to London to meet up with Dave Briggs of ukgovcamp and DavePress fame and a fellow Microsoft colleague Dave Coplin. We spent a very enjoyable hour talking about public sector, social computing and now IT can enable change – but I think all agreeing that IT is only part of the solution.
However, what really helped clarify some thoughts on the way home was reading the UK Government CIO, John Suffolk’s blog post from earlier today. To quote him:
‘You can open many papers on any day and you will see references to public sector cuts, downsizing, reform... And they are right. Whether we wanted a burning platform or not, we have one, and I guess we change or burn.’
He is right. The UK and other governments all around the world are facing a burning platform, they know it, we know it – it is no great surprise. The ‘real make it or break it’ is going to be how we can get them out of this hole.
Events like the ukgovcamp are absolutely vital, but we need to continue the conversation. We need to explore and debate how we can change the way that government works.