Technology is not the answer to system integration in Government nor is it the answer for on-line services or automating processes.
Technology is the solution – but it is not the answer.
Let’s take look at what technology is – it is lines of code and equipment such as tablets and smartphones. This is not meant to belittle the people who write the code or produce the equipment, they are some of the most talented people on the planet and I know this as I work with some of them.
Technology is the ultimate honest medium and will do exactly what you ask it to do, no more, no less and what you get out is exactly what you put in. Output is all that matters, and if that output is created by a teenager or a grandparent so be it. It is, and should be, an ageless industry and everyone should be considered as an employee or a tech entrepreneur regardless of age, sex, previous experience or qualifications.
So if technology is not the answer what is? The answer is people, all day, every day. The only way to get to the technical solution is for people to engage, talk and decide to provide and adopt it in the first place.
In private business you have the flexibility to get up, go to work, do some research, have dynamic meetings, speak to clients and produce a commercial product that suits requirements and hopefully makes a profit.
In Government and Healthcare for example we must understand that it is difficult for them to have that flexibility, there are usually numerous departments, internal procedures and quite a lot of the time these departments do not work as closely as they could or should. Government is a collective that is bigger than the sum of its parts. But there will be people who can drive change and progress – we in industry need to seek them out.
So how do we move forwards? We all need to come out from the comfort zone of behind our desks and talk – take a collective step back from viewing the answer to integration, automation and on-line service is technology, it is not, the answer is, and will always be dialogue, people deciding to do something (could be automation, could be integration could be an on-line form), making it happen quickly and repeating the process over and over again. Small deliverable projects can and should become an irresistible force of progression.
In Jersey we are fortunate in that we have a central “Hub” in Digital Jersey that can act as a catalyst for Governmental change – but find your own local way of getting together as a community, find someone you know that is influential who can pull a crowd (we all know of someone if we look hard enough) and relentlessly pester the powers that be to come and engage at an event. It may not happen first time round but it will happen if you persist long enough and don't give up..
So – let’s get talking!