Recently on my visits to councils and to conferences, and in the conversations I have with people across the public sector, leadership in digital has been identified as an issue.
I think the problem is that within many organisations, there’s nobody with sufficient clout taking the digital agenda forward: identifying the vision and setting out how people can get there.
Part of this is because digital doesn’t easily fit into any of the slots of the traditional organisation chart. It’s definitely not IT, nor (just) communications, and probably not (just) customer services.
Perhaps the closest fit would be within the organisational development bit of HR.
To kick start an organisation’s journey to become truly digital, having an inspirational leader in place is, I think, vital.
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2 thoughts on “Lacking leadership”
I’m intrigued by your ‘definitely not IT’ comment Dave. It seems to me that the ‘wires and printers’ view of IT is often a result of frustration with IT teams who have got trapped by dealing with the problems of legacy systems and taking on all the responsibility for security (missing the fact that over-the-top technical controls can often lead to less security overall – I’ve blogged some thoughts on that here: http://www.bytherye.com/?p=215).
If ‘digital’ is to lead to a real difference in the way that services are provided, it has to have leadership at board level – making it core business not a fringe activity. And the doing of digital can surely only work if it is a real collaboration between ‘frontline’ services, comms, customer services, HR, *and* IT. Missing any of the ingredients is surely a recipe for disappointment at best, but more likely disaster!
Thanks for the comment Rob, and I agree – this can’t be done without the involvement of IT. Their input into this agenda is vital.
What I meant in the post was that the driving force in an organisation probably shouldn’t be IT. I think it could be too easily dismissed as ‘an IT thing’ or ‘just about technology’ if it is.
So, yes, IT need to be at the table – but perhaps not at the head of it.