3.27 — weeknotes — awesome Socitm conference on ethics and our first use of Gov.Pay live!

It’s been a four day week for me this week which has been nice, had post-holiday blues on Monday, even though I was only off a few days, I clearly really switched.

It has been an amazing week — couple of projects have gone live and it was the week of the Socitm Share National Conference on Ethical and Secure use of Emerging Technologies and Data! So an exhausting week!

The conference is months in the planning, and all of a sudden it crept up on me and was here!! There is a great team at Socitm and a huge amount of effort goes into the planning — getting the right speakers, getting the right panellists, sorting the timings and publicising to our members.

I think it was a great event — some amazing speakers and some good panel sessions as well. I was hosting the first couple of days (on Ethical Data and Emerging tech) and Colin from the Information Security for London (ISfL) chaired the final day on Security.

Obviously it has been a challenging 18 months or so but I think there is a better understanding of the importance and the potential of data. Both from organisations and society as a whole — decisions have been made on local data and the power of it has been very visible. It is therefore important that we really do embed ethics into everything that we do.

The conference was a real opportunity to explore a very practical approach to embedding this thinking into everything that we do. What struck me during the two days was how often People and Trust was mentioned — we are not doing these things for the sake of it we need to ensure that we have the trust of our communities to be able to deliver new and innovative services in a secure manner.

We also heard from the Top Talent London group on the work they had been doing. This included two colleagues from Hounslow — was so proud to have them part of the session and they were all really inspirational as to what and how they had developed it during the programme. Awesome!

Great conference, really enjoyed hosting — did Deskercise again so got to make a ‘room’ full of people do something a bit different. 😊. I appreciate this sounds odd but it really is hard work hosting these things and affter 2 days of it — and the day job — I was exhausted. Was nice to receive some nice feedback from colleagues during the event — very much appreciated.

It has therefore also been a year since I have been voted into Socitm as Vice President. This event was run in Sept last year a couple of months after I was voted in and was in at the deep end last year. I chatting to Nadira after the event — I really do feel part of Socitm now and hope that I am starting to make a difference but there is more that we can do.

It was also the second year anniversary of the London Office of Technology and Innovation — really good to be part of such a good group to drive change across London. Was good to see colleagues on Thursday evening — shame it wasn’t face to face.

We did a soft launch of our new visitor website this week — has been developed in super quick time and a real One Hounslow effort, working with a local business to get it up and running. It was part of the Recovery Plan and planning on making Hounslow a destination in it’s own right! The InHounslow microsite provides a central place where visitors can easily navigate what is on offer locally: www.inhounslow.com/ . Still work in progress but take a look and let me know what you think.

We also went live with our online Registrar service this week. This has been part of some new thinking in the council to drive the use of reusable components when we develop processes rather than having multiple systems spring up. We are using Gov.Pay for the first time in the Council and plan to use it for all new services that we put online. Whilst it was later than we would have wanted the service area has been great at understanding the longer term view and have really bought into it — so a massive thanks to Sue and Tony and the team working on the project. https://www.hounslow.gov.uk/news/article/2397/registration_services_goes_digital

I was double jabbed on Friday :-)

Tune of the week: Len — Steal My Sunshine

Director of Digital & IT for the London Borough of Hounslow