Changes to UK government IT systems show importance of technology in seamless working
Many of us know the pain of working with clunky IT systems, struggling to get devices running on out-dated connection protocol, or getting access to the right documents through an antiquated security system.
The UK government is an organisation with a particularly high impetus on security, a complex infrastructure and many more budget stakeholders than most, so it is perhaps unsurprising it appears to have difficulties in this area.
However, who would have thought that the Government minister in charge of efficiency and reform within the Cabinet Office, Francis Maude, would become so frustrated with Cabinet Office systems that he had to go as far as to install his own personal Wi-Fi network to ensure his iPad could get a signal. Forget ‘BYOD’, this is ‘BYOWi-Fi’!
One of the legacy issues the UK government has had is the security issues around managing document classification. Until recently, there were five different security classifications for every Government document.
Couple that with the complexity of the many government workers and their varying clearance levels and you have a very difficult system to implement.
The system that has existed since World War II is now being overhauled with a much simpler approach.
This all comes at a time when the UK government is also opening up to the possibility of BYOD for local government. Once again the complications are many, with the government network’s security restrictions.
The new security guidance policy aims to take advantage of the cost savings of BYOD along with the flexibility of mobile working for government employees.
The changes the UK government is making are a reflection of how today’s organisations are increasingly powered by mobility. The importance of being able to work seamlessly, from any location, is high. There aren’t many organisations who can compete with government departments for levels of complexity and security requirements, and if they can proactively move to overcome these challenges then there is little to hold back the rest of us.