Digital Leaders Scotland held their first meeting/salon yesterday in Edinburgh. This well attended event, from across the digital spectrum, was really good. Under Chatham House rules it was great to hear everyone express their ideas, views and opinions on ‘No more BIT IT’, a mantra from the UK Government. The view being that this will radically change the landscape on the delivery of Government IT services and procurement. Question was, could or should a similar approach be adopted in Scotland?
Opinions varied but I think we can agree that there will always be Big IT, as there has to be. A citizen of Cornwall, Birmingham and Aberdeen must quite rightly expect the same type and delivery of service from Government, no matter where they live. There is space though for more localised delivery of services to meet the needs of people based on their location and who their local authority is, for example. We have seen where centralised delivery of a service has failed in the past and will no doubt happen again and a great example is Obama’s healthcare plan. They launched the service/site and it crashed right away. Why did it fail….arguable a contributing factor was they failed to take a customer centric approach, which most if not all Bit IT deliveries do. Smaller deliveries in bite sized chunks is far better, reduces risk, reduces cost and cuts out the rather large and expensive bits in the middle.
Those who deliver Big IT, or procure Big IT, must also appreciate that with growing customer choice, experience and skills levels, it is very difficult to future proof anything. Everyone used be on Facebook but now younger people have stopped using it as it it seen as a social network for older people. You can make up your own mind which age group you fit into 🙂