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News shots …. 23 November 2017



HMRC takes two UK IT Awards

HM Revenue & Customs took two of the annual UK IT Industry Awards last week.

Its IT transformation lead for customs and international trade, Joanna Connew, was named IT manager of the year for her role as champion of the department’s Agile Network. She has introduced a Movement to Work initiative between HMRC and Jobcentres, and started up the Engaging Schools programme in the Southend area.

Mike Murray was named IT apprentice of the year for his work on the exploitation of open source tooling in the department’s case management. This has helped to support its transformation from enterprise software on physical infrastructure to open source on a private cloud.


Scotland gets new web archive

National Records of Scotland (NRS) has set up a Web Continuity Service to preserve key official websites. It will make ‘snapshots’ available for organisations that already deposit records with the organisations, including the Scottish Government and Scottish Courts.

Tim Ellis, chief executive of NRS and keeper of the records of Scotland, said: “In an era of ‘fake news’ where the authenticity of information is scrutinised and challenged, the Web Continuity Service will allow users to access accurate historical information, and make it clear when they are reading archived content.

“This new service allows us to preserve information for the future and keep it available now to the people who need it, supporting open and transparent government.”


CIF survey shows skills shortage hinders cloud moves

A survey for the Cloud Industry Forum (CIF) has shown that skills shortages in the public sector are inhibiting its capacity to adopt cloud computing.

Responses from 50 public sector officials showed that 20 of their organisations lacked the relevant skills, and that 12 highlighted this as a pressure point during migration to cloud. As a percentage, this was double the rate for private sector respondents.

Alex Hilton, chief executive of CIF, said: “Working with the technology that underpins digital transformation, such as on-demand cloud computing services, requires a different skill set from the traditional, proprietary IT technology of the past.

“Historically, many government departments and agencies have outsourced their ICT services to system integrators (SIs), in some instances believing they had also outsourced the risk by doing so. This reliance on SIs, combined with the cutbacks imposed by years of austerity, has left many public sector organisations without the necessary skills and staff in-house to confidently adapt to new approaches to ICT such as the cloud.” 

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