There is an odd hush as you wake up, face down on the carpet wearing someone else’s shirt, with a thumping head and a nagging doubt that you need to apologise to someone. Opening one eye you realise you have no idea where you are or why all you can smell is washing-up liquid. The thought wanders through you brain: ‘I am in soooo much trouble’. Yup, it’s the morning after the night before. Many of you will recognise the scene, although I do not, being a man of simple pleasures and a paragon of virtue.
Many in Vendorland are viewing the post-CSR world as the hangover from hell. Local Gov is going to have some serious surgery, Police are facing cuts and whilst the NHS is getting more money, it’s a cut in real terms once you have taken inflation into account. So why is it that I have the weird feeling of knowing I should have a hangover, but actually feel fine?
There are a couple of reasons. And none of them includes four pints of water and the fizzy tablet before bed.
The first reason is that target of antipathy, Sir Peter Gershon. The Gershon report forced Government into a cycle of annual efficiency savings, and so therefore the process of identifying efficiency savings should be ingrained into the operational mantra of Government. I know it’s not pleasant and those that fall by the wayside have nothing but my deepest and genuine sympathy having been through it myself. For those that remain, however, things shouldn’t be overwhelmingly awful. Gershon has taught us how to be more efficient, and we need to heed these lessons.
The second reason is that contained within the CSR were strong hints towards efficiencies in IT, and a lot can be done with correct use of e-Government technology. I’ve talked before about the reduction of transaction costs leading to the diversion of money to frontline services, and now is the time for those services to stand up. Underpinning the citizen self-service process is trust, process and people, and underpinning much of that is IA. IA Professionals need to be helping Government build trust to enable reduced transaction costs.
The third reason is that I am comfortable with the message I am taking to market. What the world doesn’t need now is ‘blingy’ software that does everything under the sun, and has a nice box with a blue light on the front (sooooo 2003 dahling). It needs comprehensive but above all simple technology that does the job required, and is not overburdened with widgets, sub-menus and plug-ins for stuff you thought you had already paid for. I’m erring towards the phrase ‘cashable savings’ but I’ve used it so much this week, I think Mrs Stewart will throw something at me if I use it again. But it’s true (ducking swiftly). Unless I can show someone that by using my technology, they will save REAL money today, I should be slung out of the door.
The message. ROI is dead. Stop using it as a phrase right now. That includes you American software vendors (dressing it up as Total Economic Impact fools no-one you know). Think about what you are buying/selling and ask yourself, can I realise an actual saving tomorrow?
Oh, and four pints of water before bed is also probably a good idea too.