Technology Making the UK Government’s Job Easier
Ever since the Chinese invented the abacus technology has been making the job of administration an easier one. Today we live in an age where information technology is developing at a breakneck speed. Literally every year government technology systems are becoming outdated. It is the challenge of government at all levels from local to national to keep ahead of the technology curve: to make the most of the latest breakthroughs in information technology. If we do not as a country keep up with the IT evolutionary curve we risk losing our reputation as a leading IT innovator.
This website is a reference guide for how IT programs can be used to help local and national government in the UK. Here are a few examples of how the UK government is responding to the challenge of new IT.
- Cherwell District Council are using the latest in mapping technology to help its analysts better target resources from public services in the areas of greatest need.
- Public sector business is pioneering new open source software. This will save the tax payer thousands of pounds in copyright fees, and will provide an opportunity for new programmers to get their name out there. What better motivation than being able to help your country and yourself at the same time?
- The Nomad Project has done at lot to rationalize the workplace in the public sector. Nomad is an organization that looks to find ways to make work hours more flexible and mobile for public sector workers.
- Government analysts are using IT to help meet recent government cutbacks in public spending. The challenge is to use IT to help us work "smarter" instead of "harder".
- Local councils are developing better ICT systems to allow better and cheaper communication between all areas in the public sector.
- Cloud technology has allowed councils to reduce the memory capacity of employee computers and also to reduce the cost of renting back up space. Cloud BUR (back up and recovery) can save councils in the UK thousands of pounds.
- Councils are starting to use computer software to run the heating and lighting in public buildings to maximize savings. As the price of electricity continues to rise with the continuing uncertainty in the Middle East, this IT control system is proving more and more important for local government. It is also vital to the national drive to reduce carbon emissions in line with international treaty obligations.
- whatis.spotlightonspend.org.uk is a good example of how councils can share their experience to get better value for the tax payer. Spotlightonspend.org.uk improves local government transparency by allowing councils to publish records of their expenditure.
- The annual Good Communications Award is given to councils that find the best ways of engaging with their constituencies. Obviously, ITC and other computer systems are at the heart of the drive to improve local democracy by giving people more access to share their opinions and concerns with not only public sector workers but also other citizens.
- e sourcing and buying collaboratively can be made possible via IT systems. Now local government can spend more efficiently by buying with other local authorities and benefitting from the price reduction from bulk buying.
These are just a few examples of the overwhelming potential that IT has to transform the UK government so that it spends less; delivers better services; is more accountable; and is more accessible by those it is supposed to serve. Read on to find out how information technology can be applied to help UK citizens.
Much has been said recently about the erroneous route the UK economy has taken by relying too heavily on the financial sector. This, it is felt has led to the present parlous state of the economy since the global crash in 2008. While the financial sector does generate a lot of revenue for the government when times are good, the manufacturing base of the economy should not be immediately dismissed.
In fact, Britain is the sixth biggest manufacturer in the world. On average 14% of the UK economy is still based in manufacturing. The figure is obviously lower in London where rental prices are highest. In the north east of England manufacturing accounts for 16% of the region’s turn over in revenues. Big employers in the area include Nissan, BAE Systems, Rolls Royce, Siemens, Caterpillar, Komatsu and GSK. Not all of these are UK companies but they are, nevertheless, bringing jobs to the area. These companies are using the latest technologies to make products that are competitive in the global markets.
Rolls Royce in particular is having a renaissance thanks to its state-of-the-art products for the Aerospace sector. It is partnering with other British firms such as the Midlands based Erodex to lead the world in aerospace design. Companies such as Rolls Royce and Erodex are realizing the need to move into hi-tech and high-value manufacturing in order to stay competitive. While the nation was saddened to see the closure of the last of the iron and steel making operations in Teeside in 2010, it is understood that Britain cannot compete with the cheaper production costs of countries such as China.
However, there remains no shortage of engineering talent in the UK. The 2012 London Olympics is going to be a showcase for UK engineering. Moreover UK engineers are in high demand around the world.
The UK can remain an important player in the world manufacturing and engineering scene. It is important that UK manufacturing plays to its strengths of quality, innovating technology and the best engineering practices.