These are tough times for those of us either side of the fence in the IA industry. I was recently told by a chum of mine at a Department that if he wanted to spend any cash at the moment, he ‘practically had to get it signed off by Liz herself’.
Yet attending IA10 the other week, I was struck by how upbeat everyone seemed to be. There were lots of very sensible discussions about bringing IA to the fore, which was less than a surprise given the community present. There were lots of vendors there, some of whom had parted with vast sums of cash to be prominent at the event. Again, no surprise there, although it was something of a shock to learn quite how much some people had forked out for the venture. But the oddest revelation to my mind was quietly buried in one of the sessions. Local Government has long been the ugly sister of Government IA policy, tolerated at the party and quietly pushed off into the corner by the bigger, prettier people in Central Government. GCSx is often derided by the Prince Charmings as the weak link in the whole piece. Yet Local Government has just been excused full compliance with GCSx 4.1 co-co. What kind of message does this send out? What about all those authorities that have scrimped, saved and innovated, only to find the authorities that have been less … determined in their efforts have been let off?
Local Government often deserves its fair share of criticism in the IA world, but effectively penalising those that have made the effort to get on the Good Ship Security is a bit off. Especially when many in the GSi community could probably learn from their experiences of doing things.
She might be the Ugly Sister, but she’s still family and she deserves better.