An alphabet for empowering Women in IT: Taking Collaboration to the Next level

By Ruby Dixon,Transformation Consultant, lead WiT Board Member

The ever-expanding technology sector now constitutes around 8.4 per cent of the total UK economy. Competition for jobs is tough regardless of the applicant’s capabilities. Despite this, the sector is famously under-resourced. There are 105,000 vacancies in ICT (e-skills) and even with 30,000+ graduates in Computing Sciences, it takes time before new staff can be trained to fill the gap. A raft of interesting up-to-date workplace research has been undertaken on how women are under-represented at all levels of the IT sector.

Equalities is a strong area for our public sector, but local government (LG) is arguably at a disadvantage to the private sector when recruiting and incentivising the IT’s best talent – regardless of gender.

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An alphabet for empowering Women in IT: Taking Collaboration to the Next level

Why GDPR is a local government game changer, and what to do about it

GDPR may be just four little letters, but it’s a colossal issue for organisations and businesses of all sizes. An acronym for General Data Protection Regulation, it represents how the law is changing in relation to data protection. And as local government and public sector organisations work with significant volumes of data – and data that is often very sensitive – GDPR, and getting compliant with it, should be at the forefront of all such organisations.

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Why GDPR is a local government game changer, and what to do about it

Connected Local Government Live to cover cuts, smart places and Better Connected

Connected Local Government Live, a two-day successor to last year’s Better Connected Live event, will take place in Birmingham on 28 and 29 June.

Following their quarterly invitation-only meeting on 28 June, members of the Local CIO Council will be leading two special workshop events open to all delegates. Leeds City Council’s chief digital and information officer Dylan Roberts will chair a debate on the motion “This House believes that given the cuts to public services and in particular local government, councils have to focus their resources on delivering frontline services and outcomes rather than invest in better cyber security and IT.” Siobhan Coughlan, programme manager at the Local Government Association will speak in favour – while Socitm president and Norfolk County Council head of IMT Geoff Connell will oppose it.

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Connected Local Government Live to cover cuts, smart places and Better Connected

Modern Leadership

Andy Hopkirk, Head of Research, Socitm

There’s a kind of fin-de-siècle feel in the air at the moment socially, politically and technologically. So it’s all the more important, then, that our leadership is ‘strong and stable’? Well maybe…but just 42% of the UK electorate went for that line just recently; so, if not that, then what?

In recent years the question of what is right and good leadership for the times has loomed ever larger in Socitm conferences, reports, briefings and in 1-2-1 discussions with members. We all know that solving many of the pressing problems of demography, place and getting the right outcomes for local citizens and businesses has technological components; but we also know that these are not enough.

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Modern Leadership

Queen’s speech: what to watch for and what’s missing

Martin Ferguson, Director of Policy and Research, Socitm

Her Majesty’s 64th Queen’s speech involved less ceremony than usual. As a result of the Conservative party lacking an overall majority in Parliament it also lacked several measures promised in that party’s manifesto.

Those councils involved in the development of autonomous vehicles will be interested in a bill which would extend motor insurance to cover them. But there is material in the speech for all Socitm members to consider – as well as gaps the government should think about filling.

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Queen’s speech: what to watch for and what’s missing

Socitm’s David Hopkins becomes Milton Keynes mayor

Long-standing Socitm member David Hopkins has become mayor of Milton Keynes, after nearly 40 years in local government. Read more.

Councillor Hopkins attended his first Socitm conference in the late 1990s when working for telecoms company Mercury, getting involved with the organisation through Bob Griffith, former head of IT services at Northamptonshire County Council. He recently stepped down as secretary of Socitm’s East region.

As deputy mayor, Hopkins opened Socitm’s annual conference last year in Milton Keynes. In his welcome speech, Hopkins described Milton Keynes as the most successful of all the UK’s post-war new towns with a current population of 260,000 and a target of 400,000 by 2050, with ambitious plans to use technology in this expansion. “In Milton Keynes, MK Smart is a live deployment of multiple smart city applications, which are being collectively designed to make tangible improvements to public service delivery, business innovation and citizen engagement,” he told the event.

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Socitm’s David Hopkins becomes Milton Keynes mayor

New government needs to join things up

parliment

By Martin Ferguson, Director of Policy and Research, Socitm

Even before the general election, this year has seen some parts of the country voting for change. For the first time, the 4th May saw voters in six combined authority areas of England electing ‘metro mayors’ with a brief to join up services.

Socitm believes the next government needs to accelerate digital thinking to improve the joining up of services. The new metro mayors may help achieve this, but many parts of the UK are working to generate place-based digital leadership through bringing together civil servants, councillors, chief executives and other senior managers for education and training.

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New government needs to join things up