A year of work in progress – day 218

Day 218 – 17 December 2014

I wrote this during breaks in a Microsoft event at the Hilton Hotel in Gateshead. I was logged on to Durham’s system using our virtual private network and through the hotel’s wireless network. I had caught up with my email however before I had left home to get the train.

Yesterday I logged onto our system from home, a café in the middle of Derby and the City Council offices, otherwise known as The Council House. On Monday I worked, if that’s what you call what I do, from seven separate locations including Durham and Northumberland County Halls.

Last week I was visiting the new police headquarters and was able to work online as I had a few minutes to spare. The interesting thing was that I connected to their wireless which was connected to their local area network and then onto their wide area network which we supply. So I was working across a virtual private network across someone else’s network that was really our network. The future is weird.

So, I would say that I am truly agile. I can work from wherever I happen to be. It helps if I can get access to a wireless network but even that, thanks to the phone, is no longer a killer issue. My sixth thing I set out to achieve this year though was not about me. Instead it was to ‘Be a more agile service’ and I’m pleased to say that it is not just me that is working this way.

The vast majority of people within my service can turn up anywhere and get on with what they need to do. I come across my team doing all sorts of exciting things in interesting places. This kind of flexibility is going to become even more prevalent in the future and we are at the vanguard of this way of working. I’m also seeing small but growing numbers of people in other services getting on board.

The Microsoft event was good and very useful. My interest when arranging the day was to understand the strategic direction that they felt the market is going in, why they are investing in the products that they are and how this should help shape our own technical direction.

Sean introduced us by describing their view of the future as a mobile first and cloud first world, where they can empower every organisation on the planet to do more and achieve more, irrespective of whatever technical decisions they make. Motherhood and apple pie has moved on.

Their Data Leakage Protection (DLP) looks really powerful and I’m going to give One Note another try.

As an aside, I missed yesterday’s Extended Management Team Christmas quiz. We all have to make some sacrifices. Apparently I was the answer to one of the questions: ‘Who was on the North East’s most influential social media list?’

Learning points for today: Cambois in Northumberland used to be a part of Durham; by 2016 there will be 1.4 billion smart phones and 8ZB of digital content (zettabyte is 1021); people arrantly use deleted items to store stuff and; simplicity wins over complexity any day.

Today’s enjoyment rating 8/10 – and a nice lunch (all four portions).

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