The role of public sector IT in a commissioning centric future

The UK public sector remains in a state of flux. The recent spending cuts have meant that good people have been lost, and authorities have been forced into thinking differently about how services are delivered. Working in a local authority IT department, this has manifested in a shift away from building solutions in house. Which brings the question, what is the future role of public sector IT? Continue reading

Can we assert online identity whilst preserving autonomy and anonymity?

I recently attended #ukgc12 (UK Gov Camp 2012) for the first time. For those who are not familiar with this conference, it’s a gathering of 300-400 individuals with ties to UK central or local government, who want to innovate using technology or debate ethical issues surrounding the use of technology. The conference spanned two days this year: the first day focussing on debate and the second day on workshops.

Although I found all the sessions I attended very inspiring, my personal favourite has to be the debate on “democratic identity” chaired by @curiousc. I found this debate intellectually stimulating because identity management is something I have been interested in from a technical perspective for some time. My focus has been focussed using identity management techniques to help make web applications convenient for users to use, with the belief that this will increase convergence. However, I had never approached it from a democratic perspective before. Continue reading

Every competitor is a potential collaborator – #digpen

The second #digpen web developer unconference took place at the Phoenix in Exeter on Saturday the 14th of May – with a lecture theatre full of talented web developers and designers from the South West of England.

The focus was on strengthening the community of developers and designers which already exists in the South West.  There were a series of 3 minute “lightning talk introductions” from individuals and small enterprises from the region, followed by some more lengthy spotlight presentations and workshops.  The conference wrapped up with some 2 minute pitches by representatives of other web related communities of potential interest to attendees.

I would highly recommend that if you live in the South West region that you subscribe for the next #digpen unconference which is on Saturday the 11th of June in Cornwall.  For up to date information please follow the hyperlink in the reference section.

I attended this event to gain more awareness of the types of technologies and tools that freelance and SME web developers are using to build and deploy web apps for clients.  I am especially interested in this as I would like to help make possible a future where local authorities play a key role in facilitating growth of local communities such as #digpen – procuring digital services from the community to help deliver innovative and effective services to the public.

Continue reading

Are the days of traditional CRM systems numbered?

Historically I have been a advocate of CRM technology. Now I’m no longer sure if it’s going to survive long term; at least not without a radical shift in approach.

Service providers commit a lot of resources into keeping their customer data up to date, so that it can feed into delivering a more streamlined service to the individual, facilitate BI and power campaigns. There appears to now be a realisation that this approach is both expensive and, in reality, ineffective. They’re always playing catch up. Continue reading

Reflecting on the Forward25 Data Mashup in Exeter, April 1st – 4th 2011

From the 1st to the 4th of April 2011, “Forward 25” hosted a Data Mashup event to look into new and innovative ways to visualise data from the UNFPA’s Upcoming State of the World Midwifery Report.  “Forward 25” Careers is a social enterprise promoting creative action on future work and careers; focussing on young persons aged 9 to 25.

I had never attended a mashup event before so this seemed like a really good opportunity, right on my doorstep! Continue reading

Achieving a federated single view of the customer

I am writing this post as I have just delivered a pilot implementation of a portlet driven web presentational architecture and it seems like a good time to reflect on the concepts that fed into its design to date, and also its long term prospects.

I would like to propose that modern portal and portlet technology standards as key to a realistic solution to the challenging problem of achieving a “single view” of the customer. The technique I will describe can be extended to any type of object whose information is spread across disparate applications of which the solutions architect has often very limited control. Continue reading

The state of play

Thanks for stopping by my blog!  Over the coming weeks I will be blogging about solutions architecture research, initially focussing on portal technology.

I’m currently working on architecting a new web delivery platform built upon open standards and technologies including XHTML, AJAX, JSR-286 (Portlet 2.0), WSRP, SOAP, REST, xForms, MVC.

This new web architecture must not only enable web developers to deliver reliable applications through the web channel, but extend to empower non-technical users to build mash-ups through configuration of common solution web components.

Stay tuned!