A year of work in progress – day 214

Day 214 – 11 December 2014

Assuming that I am not struck down by pestilence or God’s will then there are ten days left of this blog. You may recall that I set out to achieve the same number of things this year and so it felt like a good idea to finish off with a countdown of progress (or not). This seems to be a very end of year thing to do like listing the ten best-selling books, funniest outtakes or cutest puppies but in no way is it a blatant attempt to fill the column inches.

Number ten on my list was to learn Dutch.   I can’t say that I have been successful or a failure though my leaning is towards the latter. True, I know more Dutch than I did this time last year but I cannot claim to be fluent. I’ve read a couple of children’s books, had several conversations in the language and even uttered the odd sentence at a Tier 4 manager’s presentation. Het is erg moeilijk, as they say and I need help. I’m sufficiently motivated however to persevere. I’ll salve my disappointment with the belief that anything worthwhile is hard.

After the rush of yesterday, today was much calmer. I came 71st by the way in the IT leaders top 100. Maybe next year?

First up was the monthly North East ICT Managers meeting, this time it was held in Gateshead. It was snowing when I arrived but the meeting was as warm as ever. We always start with an hour long chat about what is going on in the region. A possible relaxation in the government’s approach to the Public Services Network (PSN) and regional collaboration were today’s topics.

In the main body of the meeting we talked about ICT for the combined authority and how that seems to be taking shape. A meeting of all the key authority leads is being planned for January. We covered the role of the SOCITM group and how, in the main, the two groups complement each other before discussing all the other ICT groups that are in place and the relative merits of each. You could spend your life at meetings in the evening and so it’s better to spread the load between us. Finally we agreed the subjects that we wanted to concentrate on next year. PSN, collaboration and Big Data got the vote. Graham is going to organise some events and these should see us well towards the summer.

Back at County Hall in Durham the car park was chocker. Every spot was taken including those spaces that weren’t meant to be for cars. The parking Gods were struggling to help me this time. I had two meetings, the first on sex offenders using our libraries and the second on possible developments in Direct Services, particularly around mobile working.

Learning points for today: Spend your time gaining new experiences; in a digital business the CIO is the CEO; data is the new currency; blue and lilac tones were the order of the day and; in the future there will be no ICT industry, just industry.

Today’s enjoyment rating 8/10 – cold and a little tired.

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