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Visions of shared services and innovative technology at Fordway’s Customer Forum



New ways of working both now and in the future were the key topics at Fordway’s sixth Customer Forum in June.

The event opened with David Tidey, head of IT at Wandsworth Council and designate head of IT for Richmond and Wandsworth Councils, discussing how the councils’ Shared Staffing Arrangement is driving the implementation of shared IT services. He highlighted the importance of a clear vision and why it is vital to get all staff on board, as well as to prioritise activities and, as he put it “kick some projects into the long grass”.

His themes were echoed by Fordway MD Richard Blanford, who explained that all successful infrastructure change needs to be driven by a vision and a compelling event, followed by people and then processes. He made the somewhat controversial statement that platform comes last and it really doesn’t matter as “all technology is pretty good – you just need to know what you’re doing!”

Ian Gill, senior category manager for IT procurement at Dorset County Council, explained the innovative process the Council has developed to manage ICT supplier selection. This can be applied across both public and private sectors to speed up procurement by using pre-qualified suppliers.

The event concluded with a vision of a technology-led future from Microsoft UK’s chief envisioning officer Dave Coplin. He reminded the audience that we need to use technology to innovate, not just to make old working practices more efficient, and looked forward to a world of ubiquitous computing in which individuals and organisations harness the digital deluge and take back control of the potential that technology offers.

During the event Fordway demonstrated its Cloud Monitoring as a Service. Attendees were invited to participate, with prizes for the winners of a donation to a charity of their choice. First was Haider Abas from Smith & Williamson, whose donation will go to Al-Ayn Social Care Foundation, with second place to Paul Ruse who has opted to support Fordway's chosen charity Eikon.