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Council IT leaders warned to address chief executive "disconnect"

Socitm tells its members to get relevant, fast

Council IT leaders are being challenged about whether their IT strategies tie in with the agendas of council chief executives.

Public sector IT leaders organisation Socitm has published a new briefing, "Is ICT strategy wired into the council chief executive's agenda?" (http://www.socitm.net/downloads/download/559/socitm_insight_briefing-june_2012) briefing.The document acknowledges that a disconnect can exist between the chief executive's ideas and the strategy pursued by IT departments, and challenges IT chiefs to make sure they have a clear understanding of what their own organisation's key issues are.

The briefing illustrates how ICT strategies can be co-ordinated with corporate strategies, by examining the five top current priorities identified by SOLACE, the council chief executives' association. These were "changing with the times", public health through local government, democracy in localism, public services in a networked world, and local government driving local growth.

For each of these issues the briefing sets out ways in how IT departments can help address them by integrating their IT functions.

"Today's economic realities and the outlook for the next decade present obvious challenges," said briefing author Chris Head. "We know that exploiting the potential of information assets and supporting technologies offer the best chance of reconciling the gap between demands for service and limited resources.

"The ICT function has a critical role to play but don't rely upon the chief executive to recognise it!"

Last month Socitm called on the government to follow six defined principles for shared services projects (http://www.computerworlduk.com/news/public-sector/3362539/socitm-calls-on-government-follow-six-shared-services-principles/) if they are to succeed in cutting costs in the future.

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