by Richard Steel

All change

Jun 17, 20093 mins
IT Leadership

The racing at Le Mans was great, with Peugeot diesels winning for the first time, and a great performance from a new Aston Martin LMP1 Team, but my travel arrangements were a bit of a disaster.

After having spent a lot of money getting my car done-up, it had electrical problems until we broke-down on the motorway just outside Rouen. I have European break-down cover, but the journey home still involved four trailers, a lot of hanging around in depots and at the Calais dockside, and we got home at 2.00am on Tuesday. TVR – Totally Variable Reliability!

Sadly, whilst at Le Mans, we heard that Peter Wheeler, who presided over the marque’s most successful years, has died – in a year that so far seems to me to have been dominated by untimely deaths.

In a week that was busy with reshuffle news we heard that Tessa Jowell would pick-up the Digital Engagement portfolio vacated by Tom Watson, and Tim Berners-Lee will head a panel of experts advising Tessa on how the Government can best use the web to maximise information reuse.

We also heard that Lord Carter is to step-down. Yesterday, the Government published its Digital Britain report – its strategic vision for ensuring that “the UK is at the leading edge of the global digital economy”.

We heard that Martha Lane Fox is to become the UK’s digital champion but, although responsibility for digital inclusion has passed to Lord Mandelson’s new “Department for Business, Innovation & Skills”, it wasn’t clear whether there was to be a new minister for digital inclusion.

The COI is to audit government departments’ website usage and present comprehensive figures on the cost, quality and use of them by June 2010.

One in five adults who don’t currently have the Internet at home will have within the next six months, but two in five don’t want it.

A possibly radical, market-moving development from Google was announced; it’s set to launch “Fusion Tables” that will sidestep the limitations of conventional databases.

On Wednesday I overslept but thanks to unusually light traffic arrived at the RAF Club, in Piccadilly, for the BCS’s latest CXO Network breakfast. This was a debate under Chatham House rules, with John Suffolk asking questions of the network. Unattributed notes of the meeting will be published in due course; meantime, the notes of the BCS Thought Leadership debate on “The Death of the IT Profession”, which I recently attended, have been published.

I do enjoy these debates, which are stimulating and, I find, help clarify and shape thoughts about the subject matter; there is an archive of past debates.