Archive for June 8th, 2010

Updating the Executive

The focus of today was this morning’s presentation to the Executive. I was due to give a quarterly update on progress in implementing the ‘Information Systems and Technology Strategy’ and was also looking to get agreement on the draft Information Management Strategy and its implementation plan.

There was some discussion about whether the IM strategy needed to have more illustrative sections but as was pointed out, it is a framework that will be relevant to a broad number of developments, projects, and activities. Whilst the implementation plan identifies some of the immediate actions required, if the strategy is successful it will influence work beyond just those areas.There was recognition also that this completes a major step in our approach to information management, and we’ve not really had something like this before.

Of course, now the work really starts – that implementation plan means there’s real work to be done.

The IS&T strategy update was well received – I picked out key highlights in relation to the four themes. Part of this was to begin to talk about how we will move towards the new Corporate shared service for IT and what Phase 2 will involve. Particularly key is the need to ensure that any transition is managed so as to minimise disruption to the services currently provided.

There was some interest in the recent procurement of the new Storage Area Network, and what that may mean in future in terms of managing growth and costs.The VC also asked how we might invest in systems and technology options now, to achieve future cost reductions and I need to think about what kinds of proposals I believe would be appropriate to present.

I did suggest that one area that does need investment is around work to ensure that processes are appropriate – it’s all too easy to jump straight into “let’s develop a system” when in fact we may make as many gains simply from re-engineering the processes and then perhaps looking at systems options to support those processes. I also think we need to be sure that any business case we make for this kind of investment needs to be very clear upfront on how it will deliver savings later.

It’s very easy to invest in things because they make things better, or make things easier, or simply because we feel they’re the right things to do. However, with tough times ahead we need to show how there will be a real (and realisable) cash saving as a result.

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