by Richard Steel

Not a Laughing Matter

Feb 17, 20093 mins
IT Strategy

I can’t talk about today’s Microsoft Project Board Workshop on weightings and tolerances, so I’ll mention the announcement of agreement between Red Hat and Microsoft to build better interoperability and to provide co-ordinated technical support for customers, instead.

This sounds-like good news, to me. It doesn’t mention Open Source, although, open source software that’s packaged and supported by a vendor is frequently referred to us such. It will be interesting to see the response.

The other story to catch my eye, today, was this one about “application anarchy that eats bandwidth“. My personal view has always been that such stories have much to do with general management; wasting time with ICT is no different from wasting time gazing out of the window, reading your horoscope, or chatting at the water fountain.

However, now it’s also about fundamental advances in our use of ICT, which has become pervasive, is core business for everyone and reliant on an appropriate culture of shared understanding and responsibility. Although the author of this survey has a vested interest in raising awareness of potential problems that his organisation can help to address – “the technology is available from us and….” – he is quite right to point-out that the world has moved on, and that’s something we all need to recognise.

I asked a management colleague for his view, and concur with his assertion that “whilst many (requirements) relate to specific security technology, a great deal of the organisation’s information security is dependent on clear Human Resources policy and processes, and their effective implementation and enforcement.

ICT is an integral part of almost everyone’s ‘day-job’ and everyone must take responsibility, and be accountable for their part in securing the organisation’s information. It’s essential that policies and processes are clear, well communicated, and understood by all”.

“No CoCo. No housing benefit data. No joke.” says the headline, “especially if you are a citizen dependent on a housing benefit service”, it might have added – and, whilst Authorities prevented from accessing the DWP’s CIS system, won’t be able to process benefits, neither will the DWP be able to collect their benefit data and do its job, so they’ll both look silly.

It’s better by far that we recognise our shared responsibility to make Government Connect a success. Most Local Authorities have done a magnificent job in working to achieve CoCo compliance in the last six months, despite a poorly planned initial programme that followed years of repeated false starts and fruitless activity.

Socitm is following-up the communications it has received about problems experienced, but we urge any Authorities that have not yet reported their status to do so – to (even if already advised to the Account Manager) – without delay. Codes of Connection should be submitted to, (even if already given to the Account Manager).