Abstracts: October 24th, 2006

This report from the Society for IT Management describes the Chief Information Officer as the agent of transformation. The role should be leading the change required for realisation of the transformation agenda within public services. The report also suggests that heads of ICT are well-placed to take on this responsibility.The report identifies some of the barriers to change that exist even in the most progressive organisations. In some cases there is disagreement that services will improve by being delivered in different ways. In other cases there is outright resistance to change. To overcome these barriers and deliver real improvement, public services require a competent organisation, a supportive culture, and a leader with the right skills. That leader, says the report, is the CIO and the person undertaking the role needs a mix of business, organisational and change management skills.

A CIO is defined as a top-table executive with an ICT background who personally represents ICT-enabled business change and operations to the board. The report explores how suitable this model is for local government. It also acknowledges that the transformation and change roles can be delivered by others in the organisation, but argues that the head of ICT is well placed to take on this responsibility, and in a number of local authorities is already operating effectively as a CIO.

The report is available from Socitm at 175 pounds. www.socitm.gov.uk