THINK.Cloud For Digital Government: Putting The ‘D’ Word Into The Public Sector

Feb 19, 2016

Next month sees the fifth annual THINK.Cloud For Government event in London, the UK’s biggest and best one-day conference and expo for all things G-Cloud. Only, this year there’s an interesting evolution of the show; now it’s THINK.Cloud For Digital Government. Why?

We asked high-profile independent IT industry commentator and frequent conference host Stuart Lauchlan to explain

Who are you, Stuart - how would the readers of 24n know you?

I am a well-known enterprise IT sector journalist and editor, working both here and the US since the late 1990s. My main focus at this present time is diginomica, a new type of media property that provides rich, informed reportage and opinion based on daily contact with buyers and practitioners. We are pa major media partner of THINK.Cloud For Digital Government.

Thanks. What is your relationship with THINK.Cloud For Digital Government?

I’ve been working with the team behind both that and many other public sector ICT events, Eventcentre (eventcentreuk.com), for a number of years - in fact, ever since the first THINK.Cloud five years ago.

What role do you perform at THINK events, then?

I chair and interview keynotes and principal speakers. I also put a significant contribution to the agenda and the drawing up of the content aspect. THINK asks me to do this thanks to the depth and range of contacts, knowledge and expertise in public sector ICT, especially at the central government level, diginomica has built up.

Sounds very useful. What can we expect on March 22nd? 

There’s going to be a lot of very focused, relevant chat - as with all THINK events, there’s a ban on empty puff and PowerPoint presentations. But beyond that, I think any fair assessment has to be that this is the best collection of speakers possible to get a handle on what’s happening in UK public sector ICT right now. For a start, we have senior representation from the heart of Whitehall, in the shape of Matt Hancock, Minister for the Cabinet Office, Warren Smith, the Assistant Director and Head of Strategy, Digital Commercial Programme, at GDS, and the Executive Director of the Government Digital Service, Stephen Foreshew-Cain, as well as Matt Denham, the Crown Commercial Service’s Commercial Director.

We’ve also got a slew of user case stories, including the DVLA, and a number of key analyst perspectives from organisations like TechMarketView and Kable, as well as some other goodies, shall we say!

Sounds great! One last question about THINK.Cloud For Digital Government, Stuart: we’re all intrigued by the addition of ‘Digital’ in the name. What’s the thinking there?

We thought a lot about that. In previous years, we only really focused on what was the CloudStore, then The Digital Marketplace. That was the right thing to do, as the G-Cloud was the primary delivery vector for digital government.

But what we’ve seen at diginomica over the past 12 months, really since the departure of Francis Maude out of the Cabinet Office, is a shift in the way cloud is viewed and valued at the heart of central government ICT procurement, with a seeming flirtation with the IT vendor old guard. That’s not a shift we welcome, but it’s happening. Allied to that, we’re seeing a lot more emphasis out of GDS and other nodes of IT leadership around things like mobile and social media. That means the agenda is broadening out; the kind of public sector ICT leader coming along to the QE II Centre next month has to think about these delivery mechanisms for 21st century public services, too.

We’ve amended the agenda quite a lot to reflect all this, and I personally expect a lot of pretty intense debate about it on the 22nd. I certainly plan to address some of the issues as I see them, for certain.

Intriguing! I am sure there’s going to be a lot of interest in that. 24n would like to wish you good luck, have a great conference, and we’ll be there to report on the day and what you have to say ourselves, of course.

Thanks.

24n.biz is a media partner of THINK.Cloud For Digital Government, which is on March 22nd at The QE II conference centre in Westminster

Don't forget to book your free place at the event, if you are a qualified public sector professional, here

(c) 2016 24n.biz

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