Reply to post: It's not about the technology...

So where's all these digital services GDS promised us?

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

It's not about the technology...

In all my years working for a number of local and central government organisations, I have seen the same pattern repeated over and over, in that the business hands over the modelling of information to the people developing IT systems for them.

Many government departments' job is solely to process information (hopefully adding value on the way), from how much tax we owe, to how much land that we have qualifies for government grants, to recording the grant of legal power of attorney, registering a business etc. etc.

Key information needs to be consistent across multiple parts of the business, and this is where the problem has occurred; in often handing over the responsibility to IT to deliver systems at a departmental level, and not controlling the information that is core to their operations, the business has let go of control and left it up to generations of IT implementers (both internally and externally) to decide their information model for them, which is why most organisations find it hard to co-ordinate information about us within multiple systems, let alone more complex models like how to handle delegated authority of, say, a third party land management company.

To government I am many people - a taxpayer, husband, father, company owner, landowner, car driver etc. etc. but each of these systems rely on data effectively defined by IT people or the IT suppliers who provide them with CoTs solutions.

So, a GDS-type solution was probably inevitable, since those people that relinquished control of the information model are unwilling to do the hard thinking around what core information they really need for regulation and control, and the cost of bringing all those IT systems under a consistent model makes them want to put their fingers in their ears and hum loudly. QED the 'we can give you digital really cheaply' GDS model, and now the cracks are showing because none of them are (at least publicly) facing up to the fact that the real first step is that IT needs to help business take back the responsibility for enterprise information.

Or maybe I'm just an old dinosaur who thinks that occasionally you need to really, really think about what you are doing...

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022