The election is less than a day away and the latest polls show it’s too close to call. Most likely, the 7th May will be the starting blocks for negotiations between the political parties as jostle to put together a new coalition government.
Both main parties have talked about skills, the digital agenda and shared services in the run up; my main concern is that any change in government doesn’t derail the strides we’ve made in recent years towards transforming the way we delivers citizen services through technology.
We must all acknowledge that there have been some bad experiences in technology implementations in recent years. Though Universal Credit and the NHS are just two of those which have found themselves under the spotlight learnings have been made and innovation is still being achieved at both a central and local level. And there are many success stories too. Just look at the DVLA’s focus on using tech to streamline processes and deliver better use experience – this type of innovation is crucial if we are to continue to refine public sector IT.
Post-election, innovation and developments in public sector technology must continue. Communication between all parties involved will be crucial to ensure technology implementations don’t fall short of their targets and are delivered successfully and with improved citizen services at the heart of developments. There is also still a lot to learn in public sector technology. This year, IT teams must ensure that their technology infrastructure meets certain requirements in order to be equipped for innovation. Understanding the applications, how users are engaging with them, ensuring citizens and internal users have access to the content and data they need quickly and in a convenient way and that all key data is secure, are all essential components which can no longer be overlooked.
I will certainly be tuning into the election results from the 8th May to see whether we witness a change in government. When it comes to public sector technology though, there shouldn’t be a change at this point. A focus on delivering a fast, available and secure service to citizens and employees is still at the heart of what needs to be achieved.
David Warburton, Field Systems Engineer for Central Government, F5 Networks