That’s another year over for the North East ICT Managers group. Calendar year that is rather than financial year. Of course that starts in April. This year has been fun. We’ve seen some comings and a number of new faces to replace some goings.
The group is supposed to be the ICT heads from the seven Local Authorities that cover the NE local Enterprise Partnership (NELEP) and Combined Authority area (NECA), from Tweed to the Tees, or at least the westerly part of that river. This year though we have officially added Nexus, which provides, plans and promotes public transport to improve the economic prosperity of Tyne and Wear, as well as Xentrall, a ground breaking public sector partnership between Stockton and Darlington Councils, set up to deliver key transactional services. The group is redolent of the old Tyne and Wear ICT Managers group or TWITS as it became known.
I’ve been chairing the meetings for some time now, perhaps for too long and they follow a similar format. One of the main purposes of the get together is to share experiences, learn from each other and to offer assistance and so the first half of our time together is given over to general updates. It is clear that all of us are working on very similar issues. Some are ahead in one area while others lead in another and it is useful to swap stories and ask for support. When we get underway I always think we will never fill this slot yet somehow we seem to be chapping it at the end.
The second half is given over to plans, projects and what is going on across the region. This time we talked about office productivity collaboration, the Executive Programme for Women Leaders in ICT as well as how we enable all local authority office workers to be able to work from any of our locations.
We talked about the North East Digital Leads group, especially around the 5G test bed and the emerging One Public Estate work, then finished off with some consideration over security and our involvement in the national cyber picture.
It has been a busy year and it looks like next year could be even busier. Season’s greetings.