North17The first Socitm north conference has been and gone, It seemed a long way into the future when we first talked about it with Chantelle, Graham and Richard. Now we can think about the next one as it was a resounding success. Numbers were great and the content was great. Even the food, the atmosphere and the location were great as well.

The event was very well attended and the North East had a good contingent there. Graham had managed to organise a bus which made the journey so much easier though it made the day a bit long. It was worth the trip however.

I had a session early on in the morning talking about the work I had been doing for Socitm on the role of commercialization in the public sector. Could it be the answer to the financial constraints that the sector continues to enjoy? You had to be there to find out and I thought it went quite well. I was followed by Armor, the main sponsor’s session on ‘Why Shiny Object Syndrome Is the Enemy of Security’. We have all been there trying to fight against the proliferation of insecure yet highly connected devices.

After the coffee break there were some break out sessions. I attended one on cyber security and threat analysis which fitted nicely into one of my other interests.

After lunch Mark, from Government Digital Services, brought us up to date with GovWiFi, a new service which will allow anyone to get access to WiFi at any public building – eventually. This is a very exciting opportunity and something that we had talked about setting up across the Socitm North East area. Graham even managed to get me set up  as Newcastle are trialling it the Civic Centre.

The day rounded off with another couple of breakout sessions. There were plenty of interesting things to choose from and I went to one on developing a digital employee from Blackpool Council and then one on GDPR readiness from Wirral Council.

In the end we ran out of time. It was a full agenda and I ended up being last on the bus to take us home. Thanks to Paul for hosting and Socitm for coming up with the goods.

When is it on next year?

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