A year of work in progress – day 212

Day 212 – 9 December 2014

Before I start, I have to tell you that we’ve been trialling some of these new Windows Surface Pro devices, half laptop and half tablet (perhaps a laplet or a tabtop?). Initial reaction has been good, indeed Paul in Audit was heard to mention that it was better than another leading brand. That brought a smile to my face.

I’ve been chair of the North East ICT Managers group for some time now, ever since Tom left Sunderland. It’s no onerous task. We meet on a monthly basis and Graham does most (all) of the work anyway. The group covers the seven local authorities’ ICT teams but there is another trade body which represents the wider region and that is the Society of ICT Managers. This group meets quarterly and is open to both public and private sector though it does have a balance towards the public. Roy has chaired this for five years but has decided to step down.

Roy and I met over lunch to talk about the chair. I’m not as keen on SOCITM as I am on the NEICT but can’t really explain why. It is just a feeling that I have, perhaps something to do with a belief that the former is somehow controlled form London. Call me paranoid. Let’s see what happens. The next meeting is the AGM and I might throw my hat in the ring.

Before that meeting my diary was fairly clear. I had been due to meet up with the Portfolio Holder but she had to rearrange. I did manage another tier 4 manager however, Ken Pattison, who is the Strategic Manager Service Support in Children and Adults Services. We didn’t have a long time to talk but what we did was a real insight into the amount of administrative support and governance that CAS requires. We talked about secure systems, SharePoint, our mailing system and agreed to meet up in the New Year to pursue some ideas. The removal of unnecessary bureaucracy is shaping up nicely to be one of next year’s key objectives.

After my meeting with Roy it was back down to Durham to visit the new Police Headquarters up at Rivergreen. I used to be based at the centre nearby but it is some time since I’ve been there. It brought back memories of my early days at Durham even though everything has changed. We were visiting to talk about their Customer Relationship Management system implementation.

Early start in the morning.

Learning points for today: We need to stick to the knitting; everything starts with a vision; people want to check up on those using technology just because they can; Cyberspace is a consensual hallucination experienced daily by billions of legitimate operators, in every nation, a graphic representation of data abstracted from banks of every computer in the human system – according to William Gibson and; you can move your head office in this day and age.

Today’s enjoyment rating 8/10 – better than the weather.

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