I don’t know what it is about this time of year but everything seems to be so busy. Perhaps it is the relentless approach of Christmas, the time when the world will end and by when everything has to be completed. Perhaps it is because we are well clear of the summer break and all the things that people got back into since the holidays are starting to come to fruition. Or perhaps it is simply because it is a time of year when nearly everyone is at work. Who knows why, but I do know that we are busy. Very busy.
There are so many big projects and programmes underway. It is like a perfect storm with one after another wave of requirements crashing upon our decks. They might have crashed on my desk if I had one. Yet these aren’t the total picture. It is the persistent drip drip drip of small and niggly operational issues which I try to rise above but which suck me down into the morass. It is easy to lose heart and forget that there are still worthwhile causes to pursue.
Which is why I found the North East Combined Authority Digital Leads meeting so refreshing last week. A group of us have come together from across the seven authorities that make up the Local Enterprise Partnership, to try and move on some of those big issues that are so important. We’ve been meeting for several months now and have been focussing mainly on our approach to a 5G test bed. Progress on this is going as well as we could expect and this has allowed us to spread our wings to cover the digital skills agenda. I think I covered this in a previous blog.
What was different about this meeting however was the addition of data and IOT. It turns out that all of us are doing something in both of these areas. There are some overlaps and some clear water. There are things that we could help each other on and there are those where we could agree that one authority should take the lead while another starts working on something else. This is the true collaboration that the region should be working on.
We agreed that two members of the team would build a picture of what is happening across the region which will give us a great platform to develop from. There is hope.