Announcing the launch of our new Technology Forum

On 7th November 2016, Parliament Street will be launching its new Technology Forum – an innovative new think tank panel session focused upon debating, identifying and setting out priorities for how public sector services could benefit from modern technologies. We are pleased to announce that the first selected member of our committee will be Dean Russell, CEO of epifny consulting, the agile consultancy firm specialising in digital transformation.

Patrick Sullivan CEO of Parliament Street says of the planned launch,

“The need for a dedicated Technology Forum to look at exploring technological adoption in public sector is both timely and necessary. During 2016, total annual UK public spending, including central government and local authorities, is estimated to reach £761.9 billion. A huge figure in any terms, which is close to the total worth of Amazon and Alphabet (Google) put together. Despite this expenditure, the public sector is often reported to be struggling under its own weight. This is despite the wider commercial world thriving due to the adoption of modern transformational technologies that are increasing internal efficiencies, improving customer experiences and enhancing business outcomes.

Due to the complexity of the public sector, there are many arguments why adoption and integration have been so slow. These include the fear-factor left behind from previous failures to implement behemoth-sized technologies such as the NHS IT system. Unlike just a few years ago, modern technology has changed dramatically; new systems are increasingly agile, cloud-based and customer centric. This means they no longer require massive infrastructure changes and can be integrated and tested in small discrete increments. In other words, they reduce risk and costs.”

Dean Russell, our first member of the Technology Forum, who recently launched CREATE a new agile consultancy model specifically for digital transformation (http://epifny.website/agile-consulting/), added his reasons for joining the panel:

“I am honoured to be asked to be part of this innovative and well-timed initiative. Digital has changed the world, with society benefiting greatly across many areas; from improved customer experience to greater political engagement. To build upon the opportunities for society, I believe digital transformation should be accessible, and affordable, for all organisations; especially those in the charity, non-profit and public sector.

It is because of this belief I have spent the past year learning from academics, business leaders and local government specialists to look at the concept of the digital organisation. One common finding was how much of the money spent is on traditional consultancy instead of the technology itself. Ironically, I realised that while the modern agile development processes used to create Apps and cloud-based technologies have changed significantly, the traditional consultancy models used are incredibly rigid and out-of-date. In fact, I think it is a fair observation that many of the big traditional consultancies are still applying legacy strategies to their approach to modern technologies. In other words, they are providing consultancy which is based upon decades-old, rigid thinking and combining this with the awful ‘land and expand’ approach which effectively bloats costs and ultimately stretches consultancy projects (and their budgets) far beyond the original expectations.

Based on our findings, we decided to develop a new rapid, agile consultancy model CREATE; one of the first consultancy programmes designed specifically for digital transformation. In many ways CREATE is the antithesis of traditional strategy consulting. More specifically CREATE has been developed to identify testable outcome-based activities and put the customer experience (internal and external) at the heart of every decision. This means measurable real-world outcomes can are achievable in days or weeks, instead of traditional consultancy approaches which focus on delivering reports after months or sometimes years.

The added benefit is the philosophy behind ‘CREATE’ ensures money is not wasted on unnecessary processes that bloat traditional consultancy programmes. A philosophy that I am sure the public sector and public purse would benefit from too.”

We will be announcing further panellists for the Technology Forum in the coming weeks and would welcome input from Parliament Street members as we move forward.

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