Top ten reasons to attend the Socitm President’s Conference



On 8-9 May 2018, the Socitm President’s Conference will come to Glasgow, providing an in-depth view into the technologies and trends emerging in the public sector today. Here, you’ll learn everything you need to know about citizen and community engagement, ethical automation, cybersecurity, and the new delivery models and technologies set to transform the sector in the years to come. Here are just a few reasons why we think you should attend this year’s conference.

Learn about digital transformation
Digital transformation has emerged as quite the hot topic over recent years, and the President’s Conference is taking that knowledge in its stride. With first-hand insights into case studies and exclusive information from digital leaders around the world who have already deployed successful digital strategies, you can learn exactly how to make transformation work for you.

World-class speakers
One of the best reasons to visit the President’s Conference is the impeccable collection of more than 20 renowned speakers set to share their knowledge about the IT and digital world. This is a fantastic opportunity for professionals to learn more from the best in the business and listen to the ideas of leaders who have been a part of the growing digital revolution in the public sector for numerous years.

Keynote address by Scotland’s Deputy First Minster
In what promises to be one of the highlights of the conference, Scotland’s Deputy First Minister John Swinney will share his insights and visions on the future direction of public services.

Network with top IT professionals
The President’s Conference provides a fantastic opportunity to meet new people and chat with other IT professionals about new technology and the latest innovations in the public sector. It’s also a great way to learn about the challenges peers have faced and how they were met and overcome.

Important sector commercial backers
The supplier community have come together to commercially support the conference, too. These sponsors include, at the highest, Presidential, level, Trend Micro and SBL, with a number of other key public sector suppliers set to offer insights at the show, too.

Interactive and engaging panel discussions
We’re making our conference sessions even more interactive and engaging this year by using Poll Everywhere. With Poll Everywhere, we’ll be able to answer questions and run polls during the panel sessions. Responses will be displayed live on screen.

An evening of dinner, drinks and digital delights
The President’s Dinner on 8 May promises to be an exciting and enthralling event with a delicious three-course dinner, a goodie-filled auction and raffle in honour of our incoming President’s chosen charity, Headway, and an opportunity to network then dance the night away with our fantastic members and sponsors.

Learning is fun
Nobody leaves a Socitm event without learning something. On hand at the conference will be QA, the UK’s leading learning and skills development organisation. They’ll be running sessions that’ll equip you with the invaluable knowledge needed to meet the challenges facing the ICT and digital universe.

Your event, our expertise
We’re particularly excited to be producing the entire event in-house this year, and our talented and experienced team has taken exhaustive guidance from our members and commercial partners to design a conference that delivers the engaging and relevant content our members need, whilst offering the genuine engagement opportunities our commercial partners demand.

A vibrant and dynamic destination
As one of Europe’s most vibrant, welcoming and dynamic cities, Glasgow is justifiably renowned throughout the world for the friendliness, warmth and humour of its people whose civic pride lies at the heart of the city’s continuing success. The President’s Conference takes place the day after the Spring bank holiday so why not make a weekend of it and explore what Glasgow has to offer?

In short, the President’s Conference promises to deliver a lot of answers which your peers may not have access to. So take advantage if you can. Or recommend it to a colleague if you can’t make it yourself. To attend the conference click here to register now!

Top ten reasons to attend the Socitm President’s Conference

Socitm President’s Conference: In conversation with Professor Bill Buchanan

With the excitement around the Socitm President’s Conference growing more and more by the day, we wanted to catch up with some of this year’s speakers to find out what they’re most looking forward to at the event and why you can’t afford to miss it! Read the full interview below which is the latest instalment of our Socitm President’s Conference Speaker Q&A.

This week we’re delighted to introduce one of the world’s leading experts on cybersecurity Professor Bill Buchanan. As well as being the head of Napier University’s Cyber Academy, Professor Buchanan is a fellow of the BCS and the IET. He was awarded an OBE in the 2017 Birthday Honours for services to cybersecurity.

Professor Buchanan’s presentation will examine the future prospects, threats and opportunities posed by cybersecurity for public services.

Q1. What are you most looking forward to sharing with your peers from your presentation? Can you give us any teaser stats, facts or insight?

A. I believe many of our systems are fit for the 20th century, and we need to start to build an infrastructure which is fit for the 21st century. Overall we can improve our provision of public services, but we need to create a more trusted infrastructure, and one which is citizen-focused. At the core of this is identity and trust, and we need to look to new ways to integrating consent, governance and ownership. Too often our systems are silio’ed across agencies, and we must redesign in order to effectively share information. I will thus outline how encryption can be used to protect data, and also outline key risks in the protection of our critical national infrastructure.

Q2. Do you think the response and attitude towards cybercrime from public services is still behind where it needs to be?

A. Yes. We need to train every person in the public sector to be aware of risks, and also in responding to threats. While risks exist, it should not hold us back building new citizen-focused services, and transform areas such as health and social care. I believe we need to do everything possible to promote innovation, and especially supporting our great SMEs.

Q3. Does the public sector, including councils, have the level of funding needed for cybersecurity?

A. No. They are a long way short of the investment that is required to properly protect citizen-data, and, especially in transforming their systems to focus on the requirements of citizens.

Q4. What are the best ways for public sector organisations to tackle the latest threats?

A. The public sector needs to transform their operations and integrate encryption and improve access control (such as with multi-factor authentication). With GDPR coming up, our public sector organisations need to understand how they capture, store and process data which has personally sensitive information. This, though, should not hold us back from increasingly using data to support the provision of public services.

Q5. Do you think the public sector should look at examples of best practice in the financial sector to improve security?

A. Yes. Many finance companies run 24/7 security operations centres and have a whole lot of analysts working on incoming alerts. Many finance companies now see themselves as technology agencies, and which their operation is built on a foundation of data. We need to transform our public services in the same way, and focus on “digital-by-default”.

Q6. Is there potential for public sector organisations to co-operate in tackling future problems?

A. Yes. The public sector has to transform their existing methods in order to improve the access for citizens. There should be an increase in sharing information, but in order to do this, we need to invest in ways which can anonymise and sanitise data.

Q7. Do you think centralised solutions and standards could help public sector organisations combat something like WannaCry?

A. Sometimes centralisation works, but we need to improve processes and support virtualised infrastructures, and where we improve the security of data. We got off lucky with WannaCry. The next time it could be serious. Increasingly we need to understand the elements of our infrastructure which could fail, and how systems interconnect. The next wave of the internet is just around the corner, and this time we will see an increase in the number of devices which will be connected to our networks, and each will bring new risks. If we fail to secure our core infrastructure, we will especially struggle to integrate these devices which connect at the edges of our network. One thing that is for sure is that we need to move into this information age, and make full use of the automation that cloud-based systems can bring.

The conference in Glasgow on 8-9 May promises to inspire the Socitm community through a phenomenal line-up of the industry’s finest speakers paired with a knock out agenda! You can find out more information about the event and read Professor Buchanan’s full profile here.

Socitm President’s Conference: In conversation with Professor Bill Buchanan

Local CIO Council calls for more involvement with Warps

By SA Mathieson, editor of Socitm In Our View magazine

Socitm members should increase their engagement with Warp security groups, according to speakers at the Local Public Service CIO Council (LCIOC) on 28th June.

During a discussion on cyber security, held at the Connected Local Government Live event* in Birmingham, council members recommended that each local authority’s IT security staff should be engaged with a warning, advice and reporting point group to share experiences. This was particularly important given the Wannacry ransomware attack on the NHS in May and a new wave of cyber attacks hitting organisations worldwide as the meeting took place.

Socitm is a founding member of the Local Government Cybersecurity Stakeholder Group, which also involves the Local Government Association, Solace, Adass and the National Cyber Security Centre. The group’s most recent meeting discussed how to improve responses to incidents, with building regional capacity seen as one way to achieve this.

Continue reading “Local CIO Council calls for more involvement with Warps”

Local CIO Council calls for more involvement with Warps

New government needs to join things up


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.

Continue reading “New government needs to join things up”

New government needs to join things up

Local CIO Council: local authorities should join up public sector security

By SA Mathieson, freelance analyst, journalist and editor of Socitm In Our View magazine

Local authorities should get on with securing the UK’s public sector IT rather than waiting for central government, according to speakers at the Local Public Service CIO Council (LCIOC) on 8 December in London.

Continue reading “Local CIO Council: local authorities should join up public sector security”

Local CIO Council: local authorities should join up public sector security