Can it really be three years since I became the chair of the North East ICT Managers group? It’s only a small outfit but it is something that I really enjoy being part of. Tempus fugit as they say around here, especially when you are enjoying yourself. It covers the ICT departments of the seven local authorities in the North East Combined Authority area and we have a couple of associate members in Nexus, the Metro people, and Xentrall down on Teesside. We like having Ian come along.
Today was our annual general meeting which makes it sound more grandiose than it really is. Graham put some words together for my annual review and they capture the way things have been. The group strikes a good balance between the technical issues that we are all facing and a greater regional involvement. These have been interesting times in the public sector. They continue to be. All of us face a lot the same challenges of a complex and changing technological environment against reducing resources. Austerity carries on in the background and the situation is unlikely to change for the foreseeable future. It is good to have a safe space in which to talk.
I have stolen Graham’s words:
I believe that the NEICT has a role to play in developing and supporting ICT across the region and that we have the will and determination within the group to make a difference. We continued to extend our local networks, holding discussions with other public sector organisations in the NELEP area around ICT Security (through our ISNorthEast sub group), PSN and greater collaboration between organisations and with the wider digital community through SOCITM NE. We are playing a significant role in Dynamo North East, an organisation that is focussed on growing our industry in the north east.
The range of topics we have got involved in has been wide and deep. In the next few weeks we have arranged: The ‘Enabling Safe Business – a closer look at cloud’ conference which is a continuation of the event last year and definitely blog material; a desktop productivity consultancy procurement; an ISNorthEast meeting focussing on the future of GCSX (too many acronyms); a Payment Card Industry workshop; a security intelligence workshop; a review of any strategy synergies and; an options appraisal on a Women in IT course (which is apt for International Women’s Day).
I don’t know how we are going to fit it all in! Anyway, Neil and I got voted back in for another year.