Socitm unveils blueprint for Local Government Digital Service
A blueprint for a centrally-funded local digital service, working alongside more strongly empowered in-house local authority digital teams, is presented in a new briefing from the Society of IT Management (Socitm). "Collaborating and sharing digital assets: towards a local government digital service?" envisages LGDS as a team of advisors available to support top teams in local authorities in implementing digital strategies and associated transformational change. It would also help identify and promote best practice and opportunities for sharing digital assets, including those already developed by the existing central GDS in the Cabinet Office. Unlike GDS, however, LGDS would not be the primary source of systems development for councils, the briefing says, although there may be opportunities for key shared transactions to be created collaboratively for integration into local solutions. Digital development would continue to take place in - or be commissioned by - digital teams in each local authority, drawing on sharable transaction code as appropriate, it says. According to Socitm, relying upon volunteer, grassroots activism such the LocalGov Digital initiative; or on subscription-based membership models such as Socitm itself, are unlikely to deliver digital transformation at a large enough scale within the local government sector. Instead, such a major change of approach will need a financial kick-start from central government, in the same way that the central GDS in the Cabinet Office has been heavily funded to create digital transformation.
Pictured: Local digital model? The Cabinet Office, Whitehall by Paul Clarke http://paulclarke.com
NOTE: For more, see our companion piece, "Call for local digital service"
Public sector bodies risk missing second Windows XP deadline, says 1E
Many public sector organisations will fail to migrate away from the Windows XP operating system before the end of the first year of Microsoft Extended Support in April 2015, according to the results of a survey of IT decision-makers commissioned by IT management tools specialist 1E. Any public sector organisation failing to migrate by this time may be forced to take a second year of support at a significantly higher cost, the survey finds. Fewer public sector organisations have completed a Windows migration than in any other sector, the research finds: 56% compared to 61% in financial services and 65% in other commercial sectors. The public sector is also the only sector where any IT decision makers registered they simply 'don't have a migration plan' at all, it finds. According to the 1E research, Windows migration within the public sector takes seven months on average to complete, compared to five months or less in the private sector. This means public bodies now only have a matter of weeks to start their migration to meet the April 2015 deadline. 1E chief executive Sumir Karayi said: "There can be no doubt that public sector organisations are lagging in their approach to Windows migration. Some are still due to start their XP migration but our research also reveals a reliance on manual migration methods, which only serves to compound the challenges they face in meeting the April 2015 deadline. The firm has also produced a white paper offering tips to organisations planning a late stage migration, "The automated migration: an analysis of options".