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On becomming Socitm President

April 21, 2013

This week I am due to become president of Socitm, the professional body for the leadership and management of IT and digitally enabled services delivered for public benefit.

This is a great honour , following in the footsteps of previous Socitm presidents Jos Creese, Glyn Evans and Kay Brown who have all made a material impact on public service IT strategy – wonderful people, great friends and inspirational leaders.

This is an exciting time to become Socitm president. The role of IT leaders and managers becomes ever more central to the livelihood of public service and third sector organisations with each passing year. The value IT brings, through better customer experience, well informed decision making and material efficiency improvements, is a value not to be passed over lightly.

So these are not just austere times – these are also times of exciting opportunities in which IT leaders and managers have a critical role to play.

As Socitm is about IT leadership in public service and the third sector, it will be a privilege, as incoming president, to be able to help our members to grasp those opportunities within their organisations.

  • Leadership will be a key theme of my presidency. What makes SOCITM unique and where it adds special value is in understanding both the nuances of public service priorities and how technology strategy can be aligned to those priorities.
  • The second theme of my presidency is Digital. This is a word that has come of age and now carries significant meaning for many. Perhaps the only certainty is that its meaning will change, but fundamentally digital delivers customer interaction that customers like. I look forward to Socitm offering exceptional leadership through channels such as Digital Insights
  • Co-production will also dominate 2013/14 and is my final theme. Public service organisations have a growing opportunity (through social media) and a growing demand (driven by austerity) to operate much more co-operatively together and with customers. IT will be there in the visioning and IT will be there in the delivery, through shared information systems.

So, co-production, facilitated by digital leadership, will be key to the transformations Socitm members help to create in their organisations.

Which is not to say that last year’s priorities are not important too. Socitm members will still be expected to keep the IT service running without incident, identify new operational opportunities and deliver reliable, IT rich business process and system transformations.

I believe that one of the fundamental qualities of leadership is being able to look beyond your organisational horizons, see what else is going on “out there” – and help your organisation exploit it. Indeed, Wikipedia’s leadership definition is “a process of social influence in which one person can enlist the aid and support of others in the accomplishment of a common task”.  Which is pretty much a definition of what Socitm does! Through activities like its regional meetings, its national conferences, its publications and social media. I hope  to meet as many of our members as possible, through these events.

All of which combine help us to grow Socitm membership, expand our policy influence in government, produce a sound set of accounts and to deliver new and insightful publications of relevance to IT Leaders and Managers in public service and third sector organisations.

I’m looking forward to it!


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