UKCloud sees positive future for UK public sector ICT – if we focus

‘We don’t need IT projects being re-badged as digital transformation – we need a proper Digital Transformation strategy set by the centre,’ demands the firm’s CEO, Simon Hansford

Posted 20 September 2017 by Gary Flood

‘Digital transformation’?

Great idea – but we won’t start seeing any of it until we actually focus on what we mean by the term.

That was the hard-hitting advice from someone who should know – Simon Hansford, CEO of public sector cloud firm UKCloud.

“With the two terms, we have a problem in the sector as we won’t all agree with what either word means,” he observed.

“For me, digital transformation has to be about transforming and improving public service business processes using technology – but lots of people confuse the issue by seeming to think it means how the narrow IT business process can be transformed.”

As a result, he told public sector IT buyers and sellers, until there’s a renewed effort to look at digital transformation properly,  efforts are likely to go nowhere.

“We don’t need IT projects being re-badged as ‘digital transformation’ ones – we need a proper Digital Transformation strategy set by the centre.

“Even better, we need an ‘enforcer’ of some kind at central government level to driver the policy, control and understanding we need as a country on this vital issue.”

Hansford delivered his warning at last week’s packed Think Digital Government 2017 conference, where he sat down with respected public sector independent commentator Stuart Lauchlan of news and analysis site diginomica in a special ‘Digital Dialogue’ to discuss the challenge of ‘Moving Away from Legacy’.

On that front, Hansford sees a danger in repeating the errors of the past in IT procurement: “Let’s not move from vendor lock-in to contract lock-in.”

But while flagging real issues for the sector – and country – such as procurement issues, data sovereignty and GDPR – Hansford still sees great opportunity ahead:

“We can and should create a viable, creative and successful UK IT industry, with the UK being the world standard for data security, for example,” he promised delegates.