Feeds

Socitm pushes softer skills for e-gov

Strategy before technology

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Local authorities should focus on softer management skills rather than technical competence if they are to deliver e-government successfully.

In its report, Delivering Local e-Government, the Society of IT Management (Socitm) identifies two key e-government roles within local authorities: the e-champion and the head of ICT. In theory, the e-champion promotes the idea of e-government within the authority and plans the kinds of services that could be delivered, while the head of ICT is works out how the technical infrastructure can support those plans.

In practice these roles are often filled by one person, and that is often the head of ICT. This can lead to a too narrow focus on the technical implementation with less thought being given to the kinds of services people actually need or would use.

Socitm argues that this is not a failure of the IT manager, rather that the IT manager is not always empowered to deal with the wider implications of e-government. This is a commonly-held view among those working in the sector.

Last month, Angus Dunlop, public sector spokesman for CRM supplier Northgate, said it is often hard for IT staff to get managers to buy in to a project. But he argues that it is also a matter of perspective: a project run by IT will start with what the technology can do, and work from there. Someone outside IT, or given the authority to work beyond those boundaries, will see technology as a facilitator, rather than an end in itself.

Tony Riding, the report's author, says that local authorities need a blend of business and IT skills to deal with the "highly complex" e-government environment. He says that the report should provide guidance on how local authorities can build a management framework and identify the skills needed for a successful e-government implementation.

The report concludes that e-champions and heads of ICT need to be good at relationship building and communicating. Leadership skills, an understanding of customer service and organisational awareness are handy too.

Copies of the report are available free of charge to Socitm Insight subscribers and at discounted rates to non-subscribing Socitm members. Anyone else can get a copy in exchange for £175. ®

Related stories

UK councils failing to meet e-services deadline
Brits unimpressed by e-Gov
Public-sector IT closes salary gap

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Scrapping the Human Rights Act: What about privacy and freedom of expression?
Justice minister's attack to destroy ability to challenge state
WHY did Sunday Mirror stoop to slurping selfies for smut sting?
Tabloid splashes, MP resigns - but there's a BIG copyright issue here
Google hits back at 'Dear Rupert' over search dominance claims
Choc Factory sniffs: 'We're not pirate-lovers - also, you publish The Sun'
EU to accuse Ireland of giving Apple an overly peachy tax deal – report
Probe expected to say single-digit rate was unlawful
Inequality increasing? BOLLOCKS! You heard me: 'Screw the 1%'
There's morality and then there's economics ...
Hey Brit taxpayers. You just spent £4m on Central London ‘innovation playground’
Catapult me a Mojito, I feel an Digital Innovation coming on
While you queued for an iPhone 6, Apple's Cook sold shares worth $35m
Right before the stock took a 3.8% dive amid bent and broken mobe drama
EU probes Google’s Android omerta again: Talk now, or else
Spill those Android secrets, or we’ll fine you
prev story

Whitepapers

A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.