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Northern Ireland Civil Service

            Information Systems Strategy

                      Final Report




         ...
NICS IS Strategy Development – Strategy Report


                                                            VERSION HISTO...
NICS IS Strategy Development – Strategy Report


   4.3 MANAGEMENT OF IS/IT IN NICS..........................................
NICS IS Strategy Development – Strategy Report




1 Introduction
     The Northern Ireland Civil Service (NICS) e-Governm...
NICS IS Strategy Development – Strategy Report



                        Strategies and Relationships
      Business Fram...
NICS IS Strategy Development – Strategy Report


           departments by the key enabling services: Windows 2003, EDRMS,...
NICS IS Strategy Development – Strategy Report



1.3 Approach
     The development of the strategy was conducted in three...
NICS IS Strategy Development – Strategy Report




2 Management Summary
2.1 Introduction
       Rather than attempt to pre...
NICS IS Strategy Development – Strategy Report


     Information Management
     •   The corporate focus for IM will rema...
NICS IS Strategy Development – Strategy Report


•   The potential for divergence between elements of the programme. This ...
NICS IS Strategy Development – Strategy Report




3 Strategic Drivers
3.1 Link to the Programme for Government (PfG)
    ...
NICS IS Strategy Development – Strategy Report



3.2 Future Organisational Change
     No organisation is immune from cha...
NICS IS Strategy Development – Strategy Report


     In practice, it is likely that around 80% of a department’s informat...
NICS IS Strategy Development – Strategy Report


     The approach adopted in the GI strategy is to focus GI development a...
NICS IS Strategy Development – Strategy Report


of the higher business dependency. On the one hand, the current distribut...
NICS IS Strategy Development – Strategy Report




4 Current IS/IT Situation
4.1 Introduction
     The purpose of this sec...
NICS IS Strategy Development – Strategy Report



4.3 Management of IS/IT in NICS
       The consultation phase of this st...
NICS IS Strategy Development – Strategy Report


      •   The organic centre has (in theory, at least) the resources to d...
NICS IS Strategy Development – Strategy Report


       the reform agenda while ensuring the optimum use of ICT resources ...
NICS IS Strategy Development – Strategy Report


Funding/Incentivisation: NIEGU will control the new NI eGovernment Fund,
...
NICS IS Strategy Development – Strategy Report


     PWC study into mission-critical projects and key enabling services, ...
NICS IS Strategy Development – Strategy Report


            User access would be via the web browser. By taking a standar...
NICS IS Strategy Development – Strategy Report


4.7.2 eHR
      In addition to re-engineering HR processes across the pub...
NICS IS Strategy Development – Strategy Report


       strategies. It is clear that efficiencies could be derived via sta...
NICS IS Strategy Development – Strategy Report


       was also purchased and will be piloted before it is available acro...
NICS IS Strategy Development – Strategy Report


4.8.3 Planned Capabilities
      The projects described above look set to...
NICS IS Strategy Development – Strategy Report




5 IS Strategic Themes
5.1 Introduction
       The concept of an “IS The...
NICS IS Strategy Development – Strategy Report


       where standards are required.            This is the purpose of an...
NICS IS Strategy Development – Strategy Report


strategy, the distinction is important. The table below lists the items f...
NICS IS Strategy Development – Strategy Report


           OnlineNI Building Block     Current Initiatives/     Gaps/Comm...
NICS IS Strategy Development – Strategy Report


5.3.3 Actions
      The main action arising from this theme is the defini...
NICS IS Strategy Development – Strategy Report


create an environment in which departmental and cross-departmental system...
NICS IS Strategy Development – Strategy Report


5.4.4 Vision
      The IS key enabling services identified in this strate...
NICS IS Strategy Development – Strategy Report


       (3) Guidelines should be developed by the central group of the NIC...
NICS IS Strategy Development – Strategy Report


      of failure are felt as an impact on the use of information by the b...
NICS IS Strategy Report - September 2004
NICS IS Strategy Report - September 2004
NICS IS Strategy Report - September 2004
NICS IS Strategy Report - September 2004
NICS IS Strategy Report - September 2004
NICS IS Strategy Report - September 2004
NICS IS Strategy Report - September 2004
NICS IS Strategy Report - September 2004
NICS IS Strategy Report - September 2004
NICS IS Strategy Report - September 2004
NICS IS Strategy Report - September 2004
NICS IS Strategy Report - September 2004
NICS IS Strategy Report - September 2004
NICS IS Strategy Report - September 2004
NICS IS Strategy Report - September 2004
NICS IS Strategy Report - September 2004
NICS IS Strategy Report - September 2004
NICS IS Strategy Report - September 2004
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Transcript of "NICS IS Strategy Report - September 2004"

  1. 1. Northern Ireland Civil Service Information Systems Strategy Final Report O G C Version 1.0 (Final) September 2004
  2. 2. NICS IS Strategy Development – Strategy Report VERSION HISTORY Version No Description Date 0.1 First draft – for review of 18 February 2004 structure 0.2 Second draft – Themes 1-3 26 March 2004 complete (with Annexes C and D) sent to TK and JMcK for review 0.2a Continuing work-in- 8 April 2004 progress during review of V0.2 0.3 Revised wording re 17May 2004 PSG(E). For issue to eGovernment Board 0.4 Final draft following review 5 July 2004 by eGovernment Board 1.0 Final 1 September 2004 AUTHOR Mike Rice, OGC Strategic Assignments Consultant CONTENTS 1 INTRODUCTION................................................................................................................................1 1.1 SCOPE.......................................................................................................................................1 1.2 STRATEGY RELATIONSHIPS.............................................................................................................1 1.3 APPROACH.................................................................................................................................4 1.4 STRUCTURE................................................................................................................................4 2 MANAGEMENT SUMMARY............................................................................................................5 2.1 INTRODUCTION.............................................................................................................................5 2.2 THE VISION................................................................................................................................5 2.3 THE STRATEGIC BUSINESS CASE.....................................................................................................6 3 STRATEGIC DRIVERS......................................................................................................................8 3.1 LINK TO THE PROGRAMME FOR GOVERNMENT (PFG)..........................................................................8 3.2 FUTURE ORGANISATIONAL CHANGE.................................................................................................9 3.3 INFORMATION MANAGEMENT..........................................................................................................9 3.4 THE CONTINUING DRIVE FOR PUBLIC SECTOR EFFICIENCY....................................................................10 3.5 THE DIGITAL DIVIDE....................................................................................................................10 3.6 THE GEOGRAPHIC INFORMATION STRATEGY....................................................................................10 3.7 EXPLOITING NEW TECHNICAL OPPORTUNITIES....................................................................................11 3.8 THE EQUALITY AGENDA...............................................................................................................11 3.9 INCREASED RELIANCE ON IS/IT...................................................................................................11 4 CURRENT IS/IT SITUATION.........................................................................................................13 4.1 INTRODUCTION...........................................................................................................................13 4.2 THE NICS IS/IT COMMUNITY....................................................................................................13 V 1.0 ii
  3. 3. NICS IS Strategy Development – Strategy Report 4.3 MANAGEMENT OF IS/IT IN NICS................................................................................................14 4.4 GENERAL CAPABILITIES...............................................................................................................18 4.5 DESKTOP SITUATION...................................................................................................................19 4.6 RESILIENCE...............................................................................................................................19 4.7 PLANNED CAPABILITIES...............................................................................................................19 4.8 CONCLUSIONS...........................................................................................................................22 5 IS STRATEGIC THEMES................................................................................................................24 5.1 INTRODUCTION...........................................................................................................................24 5.2 THEME 1 - AN ENTERPRISE IS ARCHITECTURE FOR NICS................................................................24 5.3 THEME 2 – KEY ENABLING SERVICES...........................................................................................25 5.4 THEME 3 - GOVERNANCE AND MANAGEMENT.................................................................................28 5.5 THEME 4 - INFORMATION MANAGEMENT........................................................................................30 5.6 THEME 5 – INFORMATION ASSURANCE...........................................................................................31 5.7 THEME 6 - ICT SERVICE PROVISION/SOURCING..............................................................................33 6 AN IS VISION FOR NICS.................................................................................................................35 6.1 PRINCIPLES...............................................................................................................................35 6.2 GOALS.....................................................................................................................................35 7 OUTLINE IMPLEMENTATION PROGRAMME........................................................................37 7.1 INTRODUCTION...........................................................................................................................37 7.2 PRELIMINARY ACTIONS...............................................................................................................37 7.3 THE STRATEGIC IS PROGRAMME..................................................................................................39 7.4 OTHER ACTIONS........................................................................................................................41 8 STRATEGIC OUTLINE BUSINESS CASE...................................................................................43 8.1 INTRODUCTION...........................................................................................................................43 8.2 COSTS.....................................................................................................................................43 8.3 BENEFITS.................................................................................................................................44 8.4 RISKS......................................................................................................................................45 8.5 CONCLUSIONS...........................................................................................................................46 (Annexes C-F are issued as separate files/documents, under separate version control. In this final version, all annexes have been marked as Version 1.0) Annex A: List of Interviewees B: Sources of Information C: NICS Enterprise IS Architecture D: The Programme Management Model E: Information Management F: Service Provision and Sourcing This report has been prepared by a consultant working within the Strategic Assignments Consultancy Service in OGC and it reflects the consultant's professional judgement and experience. Regard has been given to assuring consistency with UK Government policy and OGC procedures. V 1.0 iii
  4. 4. NICS IS Strategy Development – Strategy Report 1 Introduction The Northern Ireland Civil Service (NICS) e-Government Board has commissioned the development of information system (IS) and information and communications technology (ICT) strategies for the NICS. In October 2003, OGC was requested to provide consultancy support to assist with the development of the information systems (IS) strategy for the NICS. Terms of Reference (TOR) were agreed between NICS and OGC. 1 This document presents the findings of the study carried out by Mike Rice, an OGC strategic assignments consultant, in response to the TOR. Once endorsed by the e-Government Board and PSG(E), the report will become the NICS IS Strategy. 1.1 Scope The scope of the IS strategy has a number of dimensions: • Time – 3 years, to align with the corporate planning cycle. • Organisation – the strategy applies to all NICS departments and agencies. 1.2 Strategy Relationships To understand fully the importance and relevance of the IS strategy, it is necessary to explore its relationships with other components of the business and IS/IT frameworks within which the NICS operates. The consultation papers used the following simple hierarchy to describe the position of the IS strategy: e-Business Strategy Defines the organisation’s e-business. Information Systems (IS) Strategy Defines the systems needed to deliver the e-business. Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Strategy Defines the technology needed to deliver the systems. There was a good deal of agreement with this, but to be of practical use, the description of the strategy relationships needs to go much further. In particular, it should describe the relationships in terms of what each strategy requires from the others, and what it, in turn, will provide to them. This is important, because of the need to communicate the strategy to senior management and so there can be a clear programme of implementation, in which all concerned understand their roles and responsibilities. It is also necessary to show the relationship between the IS strategy and the business framework of the NICS. Fig 1 illustrates the strategy relationships: Fig 1 – Strategies and Relationships 1 NICS IS Strategy Development - OGC TOR and Plan V0.3 dated 28 October 2003 V 1.0 1
  5. 5. NICS IS Strategy Development – Strategy Report Strategies and Relationships Business Framework IS/IT Framework Strategy for the “continuous optimisation of PfG/ Overall priorities eGovernment service delivery, constituency participation and Secretary of State’s governance by transforming internal and Strategy: external relationships through technology, the Priorities/ Internet and new media” (Gartner Group Online NI definition of eGovernment). Applies to the Reform Programme wider public sector Capability to deliver Strategy for the development and delivery of the systems required to implement the Corporate eGovernment strategy. Sets the demand for the supply side strategies. Applies to NICS IS Strategy departments and agencies Public Service Agreements Strategies for providing the “people Corporate “Supply and technology” components Side” strategies: required for the implementation of the IS Strategy ICT, HR, Sourcing Departmental and The whole group of corporate strategies provides the framework Agency Departmental priorities for the departmental strategies. A major part of the implementation of Corporate influence the departmental eBusiness strategies the corporate strategies is the & Business Plans delivery of key enabling services Departmental eBusiness Strategies supply Implementation of departmental IS/IT Departmental strategies supports both IS/IT Strategies demand the delivery of services by departments, and their internal running 1.2.1 Inputs and Outputs For the corporate IS strategy, the key inputs are: • From the eGovernment strategy, an overall sense of strategic direction and priorities. • From departmental strategies, the demand for the services required by departments to deliver against their PSAs, both as individual departments and in concert with others. And the outputs: • To the eGovernment strategy, an account of the capability of the service as a whole to deliver the eGovernment strategy. • To departments, priorities and plans for implementing and delivering key enabling services. • To departments (via the corporate ICT strategy): a technical framework for the development of departmental systems and the use of corporate systems. Fig 1 demonstrates that there are two means by which the IS strategy is linked to the PfG/SofS priorities: • In a top-down way – the direct linkage between PfG and OnlineNI. The main link between OnlineNI and PfG is the commitment in OnlineNI to modernise and reform public service delivery. The commitment will be met through the provision of generic capabilities, to be delivered to V 1.0 2
  6. 6. NICS IS Strategy Development – Strategy Report departments by the key enabling services: Windows 2003, EDRMS, etc – see next theme. • In a bottom-up way – the linkage from departmental PSAs, via departmental eBusiness/IS strategies. This linkage deals with the specific capabilities required to deliver departments’ programmes. The bigger service delivery initiatives are the subject of mission critical projects and programmes. 1.2.2 Relationship with OnlineNI OnlineNI is the NI eGovernment strategy. The Gartner Group has defined eGovernment as: “the continuous optimisation of service delivery, constituency participation and governance by transforming internal and external relationships through technology, the Internet and new media” OnlineNI says, of itself: “(this strategy) is designed to re-define the vision, the direction and the context for an overall e-Government programme in Northern Ireland. It provides a framework for the transformation of the business of government and the delivery of services to citizens and business. It aims to make service delivery customer focused, flexible, efficient and responsive.” Hence OnlineNI fits the Gartner definition very well. The demand placed by OnlineNI on the IS strategy is expressed in terms of the “building blocks” required for eGovernment. The building blocks include multiple access channels, a common user interface and the rationalisation of information holdings. 1.2.3 Relationship with the Corporate Supply Side Strategies The supply side strategies are concerned with providing the technology and people components required for the implementation of the IS strategy. They include the ICT strategy (technology focus), the ICT HR strategy (people focus) and the sourcing strategy (balance between internal/external provision of both the technology and people elements). The IS strategy and the supply side strategies together provide the framework for the development and operation of information systems across the service. V 1.0 3
  7. 7. NICS IS Strategy Development – Strategy Report 1.3 Approach The development of the strategy was conducted in three stages: Information Gathering/Consultation A consultation paper was produced to set the agenda for a round of interviews 2 with representatives of departments and the centre. The list of interviewees is at Annex A. Feedback and Further Consultation Following the interviews, a further consultation paper was prepared, to 3 summarise the views debated during the interviews and highlight any areas of dissent. Comments on the consultation paper were invited, by email or by posting responses to an Internet message board set up for the study. Both means were used. A working group of PSG(E) and eGovernment Board members met in a workshop session to debate the issues arising from the consultation. The outcome of the workshop provided a firm basis and way ahead for the strategy. Report Production A draft report was circulated to eGovernment Board members for their endorsement. A final draft will be produced and presented to PSG (E). 1.4 Structure The report is made up as follows: Section 1 – Introduction (this section) Section 2 - Management summary Section 3 - The strategic drivers Section 4 - Current IS/IT situation Section 5 - IS strategic themes Section 6 - An IS Vision for NICS Section 7 - Outline programme for implementing the strategy Section 8 - Strategic Outline Business Case 2 NICS IS Strategy Development – Consultation Paper 1 dated 10 November 2003 3 NICS IS Strategy Development – Consultation Paper 2 dated 12 December 2003 V 1.0 4
  8. 8. NICS IS Strategy Development – Strategy Report 2 Management Summary 2.1 Introduction Rather than attempt to present a section-by-section summary of the report, this section concentrates on the heart of the proposed strategy – the IS vision for NICS. Individual points of the vision have been hyperlinked to the points in the report where they arise, for the convenience of those reading the report on screen. The conclusions of the final section – the Strategic Business Case, are also repeated here. 2.2 The Vision 2.2.1 Principles The NICS corporate IS strategy is the strategy for the development and delivery of the systems required to implement OnlineNI: the eGovernment strategy. It applies to all NICS departments and agencies and it should be regarded as an important source of guidance by organisations in the wider public sector. The focus of the IS strategy is on the delivery of key enabling services, to ensure the success of the mission critical projects and the effective working of the NICS. The strategy also sets the demand for the corporate supply side strategies: the ICT strategy, the ICT HR strategy and the sourcing strategy. 2.2.2 Goals Each of the strategic themes explored in this report contains a description of the desired future situation. Taken together, they present the IS vision for NICS over the next three years. NICS Enterprise IS Architecture The NICS enterprise IS architecture provides the blueprint for the provision of IS services throughout NICS, with a focus on interoperability and information sharing between NICS departments. It is the foundation for the NICS corporate ICT strategy, which identifies the actual standards to be applied to the components of the architecture. The NICS Strategic IS Programme • NICS will support the delivery of its ICT-enabled business change programmes and projects through the corporate provision of key enabling services. The projects to deliver the key enabling services will be managed as a programme, in which the relevant projects and associated activities are co-ordinated and managed as a unit such that they achieve outcomes and realise benefits. • The programme management structure will be centred on a programme office, to be located within the NIEGU. The programme will be directed by PSG(E), acting as a management board, supported by the eGovernment Board in the role of sponsoring group. The chair of PSG(E) will be the SRO of the programme and the chair of the eGovernment Board will be the programme director. V 1.0 5
  9. 9. NICS IS Strategy Development – Strategy Report Information Management • The corporate focus for IM will remain with PSRU. As PSRU will be a member of the central core of the Sponsoring Group for the NICS strategic IS programme, the IM/IS/IT relationship at the centre will be strengthened. • Guidelines will be available for the management of the IM/IS/IT relationship by departments. • The same functionally-based information model of the service, initiated by the Centre for corporate functions and extended by departments to cover specific departmental functions, will be used by a wide range of applications, including ASP, eHR, EDRMS, Online NI portal and NICIC. • NICS will have a knowledge management framework, to facilitate the sharing of knowledge throughout the service. • There will be a corporate agreement with OSNI for the supply of geographic information (GI) to NICS departments and agencies. Information Assurance By the end of the strategy period, NICS will have developed a corporate Information Assurance framework, encompassing all aspects of information security and the IS-related aspects of business continuity. Through the ICT strategy and the sourcing strategy, NICS will have taken the opportunity to rationalise the ICT infrastructure and increase its resilience. Service Provision and Sourcing The sourcing of IS/IT services in NICS will be re-organised, according to the recommendations of a corporate sourcing strategy. The exact nature of the new arrangements will obviously depend on the findings of the sourcing strategy, but some rationalisation of the current multi-contract situation, with increased use of managed services and strategic partnerships, is to be expected. Work in this area has been brought forward through the commissioning of a review of ICT back-office service provision, in response to the efficiency review. 2.3 The Strategic Business Case The additional cost of implementing the strategy, that is, over and above the known costs of the projects currently under way, is around £1.22M over the three years. Over half of this figure is the cost of staffing the programme management structure. Only generic benefits have been identified here. The real, tangible benefits will be delivered by the business projects “enabled” by the strategic IS programme. Of the range of generic risks identified here, the three most serious are considered to be: • The shortage of suitably qualified and experienced staff; • The lack of funding; V 1.0 6
  10. 10. NICS IS Strategy Development – Strategy Report • The potential for divergence between elements of the programme. This is an area where strong leadership from the centre, with good support and buy-in from departments, will be essential. V 1.0 7
  11. 11. NICS IS Strategy Development – Strategy Report 3 Strategic Drivers 3.1 Link to the Programme for Government (PfG) IS strategies do not exist in isolation: their purpose is to set out the way in which IS will be used to support the business objectives of the organisation concerned. At the highest level, the business objectives of NICS are contained in the executive’s Programme for Government (PfG) . Hence we 4 could say that the main driver for the IS strategy should be PfG – but that would be too simplistic. The top-level priorities in PfG cascade into Public Service Agreements (PSAs) for each of the 11 ministers/departments. The PSAs set out high-level objectives for each department, with associated outcomes, targets and budget allocations. They also identify objectives shared with other departments. Departments respond to their PSAs by preparing corporate and business plans/ strategies, which show how the targets are to be met and the money spent. These plans and strategies are the main business drivers for departmental eBusiness and IS/IT strategies. In this sense therefore, the IS/IT response to the PfG priorities (how is IS/IT to be used to help deliver the PfG?) comes not at an NICS level, but from the individual departments whose responsibility it is to deliver the required services, either independently or in concert with others. But there is a need for a central IS/IT response to PfG. While the line-of- business applications needed to deliver departments’ business may be unique to those departments, they all require some common elements both to make them work at all, and also to work together with other applications, sharing information where needed, sometimes with other departments. This is where the concept of “key enabling services” comes in. All departmental applications need to run on an ICT infrastructure: for all the reasons that will be argued later in this report, a common infrastructure throughout the service could deliver improvements in both effectiveness and efficiency. Also, a common information structure, related to functions rather than organisational units, would facilitate the sharing of and access to information. Hence the linkage between PfG and the corporate IS strategy can be seen to work in two ways: • In a top-down way – the linkage between PfG and the corporate IS strategy, via OnlineNI – the eGovernment strategy. This linkage is concerned with generic capabilities, to be delivered by the key enabling services: Windows 2003, EDRMS, etc. • In a bottom-up way – the linkage from departmental PSAs, via departmental eBusiness/IS strategies. This linkage deals with the specific capabilities required to deliver departments’ programmes. The bigger service delivery initiatives are the subject of mission critical projects and programmes. 4 As devolution is currently suspended, the equivalent of PfG is the Secretary of State’s Priorities, as set out in the Priorities and Budget document. For the sake of clarity/simplicity I will continue to use “PfG” in this document to represent PfG or S of S Priorities, whichever applies at the time. V 1.0 8
  12. 12. NICS IS Strategy Development – Strategy Report 3.2 Future Organisational Change No organisation is immune from change. Indeed, some would see continual change as essential for an organisation’s survival in the longer term. In the case of NICS, the likelihood of future organisational change is fairly high, and growing. Firstly, during the last period of devolved government a Review of Public Administration (RPA) was started, to examine roles and organisations across the whole public sector. Although the progress of the RPA has been held up by the suspension of devolution, it is likely to recommend some significant changes in public sector organisation, particularly in the field of local government. It is probable that the boundaries of responsibility between central and local government will change as a result of RPA. The second significant driver for change is the current political activity to find a basis for the restoration of devolved government. Taken together, these factors are likely to lead to a significant change in the number and structure of central and local government bodies in Northern Ireland. Any future organisational change would have major implications from an IS/IT point of view. When the change was made from the previous 6 to the current 11 departments, re-organising the IS/IT support was part of the problem facing the service. For example, one of the new departments (DCAL), had to build its IS/IT support from the contributions of three other departments, with different IS/IT infrastructures. When any future change occurs, IS/IT should be seen as an enabler – part of the solution rather than part of the problem. This situation applies from the technical, ICT infrastructure level all the way up to the higher levels of information management and common applications. A common ICT infrastructure would facilitate the re-organisation of departments and the movement of staff. Common information management structures and procedures, achieved through the EDRMS project, would facilitate the transfer of functions, and the associated information between parts of the organisation. 3.3 Information Management Managing information effectively as a corporate resource has always been one of the main drivers for an IS strategy. The ability of NICS departments to deliver high quality services, develop well-targeted policies and ensure efficient government depends on the effective use of information. Key information management (IM) issues include: • Ensuring relevant information is accessible to all who need it and are entitled to it; • Ensuring information is shared effectively between the people and/or application that need it; • Maintaining the quality of information; • Maintaining an appropriate level of security of information; • Avoiding inefficiencies due to duplication of information holdings; • Managing the flow of information within the organisation • Taking steps to find out what information the organisation holds, through an information inventory. V 1.0 9
  13. 13. NICS IS Strategy Development – Strategy Report In practice, it is likely that around 80% of a department’s information would only be of interest to the department itself, but the difficulty is in knowing which 80% at any given moment. The default policy should be to make information available outside the department, unless there are specific reasons not to share. Although Freedom of Information (FOI) and data protection legislation are important factors, they should be seen within the overall context of IM. This topic recurs, as a strategic theme, later in the report. 3.4 The continuing drive for public sector efficiency A conservative view of this driver would say something like “because of the continuing drive for efficiency, there is not going to be as much money as we would like to spend on IS/IT, so we had better spend it carefully and also make the best use of the resources we already have”. While it is hard to argue with the logic of that view, a more radical approach would be to recognise the role IS/IT can play in making the service as a whole more efficient. If, paradoxically, that leads to more being spent on IS/IT, the return should justify the investment. Sir Peter Gershon’s Efficiency Review has the objectives of releasing major resources into front-line services that meet the public’s highest priorities out of activities which can be undertaken more efficiently, and reducing the bureaucracy faced by front-line professionals and freeing them up to better meet the needs of their customers. It aims to produce savings amounting to 2.5% per annum during the SR2004 period, thereby releasing approximately £20bn for spending in new areas. In addition, administration costs will be held at 2005/06 levels during this period. In the NICS IS/IT context, a review of back office ICT service provision has been commissioned as a means of taking forward the Efficiency Review recommendations. Efficiency is covered in the “3 Es” approach to defining the strategy’s benefits, set out in the Strategic Outline Business Case at Section 9 of this report. 3.5 The digital divide The digital divide is the subject of a separate initiative by the NI eGovernment Unit – the Digital Inclusion Strategy. The initial emphasis of the strategy is on identifying the gaps in the provision of access to the internet, and initiating projects aimed at closing the gaps. It may be expected that, over time, some of these projects may come to be regarded as providing “key enabling services”, and be managed as such. 3.6 The Geographic Information Strategy The vision of the NI Geographic Information (GI) Strategy is: “To provide the strategic leadership required for a practical, coordinated and inclusive approach to improving the collection, funding, dissemination and use of geographic information, in order to maximise the social, economic and educational potential of this crucial component of the national information infrastructure resource.” V 1.0 10
  14. 14. NICS IS Strategy Development – Strategy Report The approach adopted in the GI strategy is to focus GI development around a series of subject areas, in which lead departments/agencies have been appointed. At the NICS level, the issues are: • To coordinate the implementation of the overall GI strategy, bringing together the work of the steering groups in the different areas. The focus for this work is OSNI, on behalf of the whole service. • To establish a common procedure and charging structure for the supply of GI to departments and agencies. At present, departments and agencies establish individual arrangements with OSNI. There is widespread agreement that this is not the most efficient or economical basis on which to work. For their part, OSNI would say that, up to now, no single body has sought to negotiate a supply arrangement with them on behalf of the service as a whole. This situation should be remedied. 3.7 Exploiting new technical opportunities There is a perception amongst departments that there is some duplication of effort between the centre and individual departments, in the investigation of new technological opportunities. It was reported by interviewees that a number of trials of technology had taken place recently with inadequate coordination, or sharing of results. The recommended approach is to recognise “centres of excellence” in departments (and in the centre) where there is an acknowledged depth of experience in a particular field. Some of these would be selected by virtue of an organisation’s mainstream business: eg OSNI is the CoE for geographic information, as is PRONI for records and archive management. Others may arise because a department has been the first to use a particular product or technique. 3.8 The equality agenda The application and monitoring of equality legislation, including consultation under Section 75 of the NI Act, and New TSN, are issues that cut across all departments and the delivery of all services. An eParticipation Scoping Study, led by OFMDFM and involving a number of other departments and organisations, will recommend a number of pilot projects aimed at improving participation and consultation. Also, the DOE IS Strategy contains a recommendation for a consultation extranet, which could have an application across the service. DOE should be encouraged to establish a consultation extranet, as a pilot for one or more extranets to be used by the whole service for Section 75 consultation. 3.9 Increased Reliance on IS/IT In NICS, the degree of reliance on IS/IT has increased markedly in recent years. Email has become the dominant communications method and recent failures of the email system in some areas has highlighted its importance to the business. The level of risk associated with ICT has increased: the likelihood of failure has increased, through greater complexity of systems and a higher level of threat from attackers, mainly the writers and propagators of viruses, worms and “trojans”, and the impact of failure has increased because V 1.0 11
  15. 15. NICS IS Strategy Development – Strategy Report of the higher business dependency. On the one hand, the current distributed responsibility for ICT service provision could be seen as a strength: recent failures have been confined to specific departments, and have not affected the whole service. But the current situation also contributes to the overall complexity of the “system”, that makes failure both more likely to occur and also more difficult to diagnose when it does occur. V 1.0 12
  16. 16. NICS IS Strategy Development – Strategy Report 4 Current IS/IT Situation 4.1 Introduction The purpose of this section is to describe the current IS/IT situation in NICS, covering both existing and planned capabilities. 4.2 The NICS IS/IT Community From an IS/IT perspective, NICS is far from being a homogeneous community, although a degree of technical commonality has been achieved that allows effective information exchange between most parts of the service. The provision of IS/IT services to the current eleven departments of NICS is still largely based on the six information systems units (ISUs) associated with the pre-devolution departments, with some services provided by the centre (ie BDS). The exceptions to this situation are: • Parts of SSA, CSA and DEL where services are provided through a UK- wide system arranged by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP). • Core DEL, where services are provided by Fujitsu through a PFI contract. • Parts of DHSSPS (DIS), where services are provided through the HPSS infrastructure. In general, executive agencies share the same IS/IT infrastructure as their parent departments and take services from the same ISUs. The main exceptions are the two agencies in DSD (SSA and CSA) which, as noted above, take a large part of their IS/IT service from GB. Also, a number of agencies (including SSA), have their own IS/IT staff. There is another group of organisations which are generally outside the scope of this strategy – the NDPBs. A significant proportion of the service delivery of many departments is carried out by NDPBs. Examples include education, where the Education and Library Boards (ELBs) have a key role; health, where the services are delivered through the range of trusts etc that make up the HPSS; and the field of arts, culture and leisure, where contact with the citizen is conducted through bodies such as the Arts Council and the Sports Council. It would better serve the interests of government and citizens alike if communication between these bodies and their parent departments could be improved. Allowing them to share the same IS/IT infrastructure would create a sound foundation for better communication and information sharing. It has already been noted that the whole structure of public administration is under review, and some change may be expected in the medium term. Rather than take any precipitate action to bring current NDPBs under the IS/IT wing of their parent departments, it might be better to agree in principle that the NICS IS/IT infrastructure should be widened to include NDPBs and work, through the corporate ICT strategy, on removing obstacles to achieving that goal. In any case, the NICS IS/IT infrastructure should not be extended to include Agencies/NDPBs for “ideological” reasons, but only where there is a sound business justification. V 1.0 13
  17. 17. NICS IS Strategy Development – Strategy Report 4.3 Management of IS/IT in NICS The consultation phase of this study highlighted the perceived lack of clarity over the arrangements for the management of IS/IT in NICS, particularly the role of the centre. Consultation paper 2 proposed, and the majority of reviewers agreed: There is a need for a clear definition, preferably on one piece of paper, with a good diagram, of who is responsible for what in the governance/ management of IS/IT in NICS. This should be supported by more detailed items such as the terms of reference for the bodies involved and, where applicable, SLAs (eg between BDS and its customers). It should also include departmental responsibilities towards the centre. 4.3.1 The Current Situation - Overview Responsibility for the governance and management of IS/IT affairs at a corporate level is currently divided between a number of different bodies, as shown in Fig 2. Governance – the existing players The “Collective Centre” The “Organic Centre”: Supporting Agencies/Units Permanent Secretaries’ Group. PSG PS of all depts, ex- officio DFP OFMDFM Sub group of PSG, PSG (E) focus on service modernisation NI PSRU eGovernment NICS eGovernment Unit Editorial Board Board PPM BDS ICT HR ICT NICS CoE Management Management Accreditation (Not yet formed) Board Board Panel Departmental level Most departments have an IS Steering Group (or equivalent) Departmental body. But not all have an ISU. Since Departmental ISSG devolution, a shared services approach ISU has been followed, based on the 6 pre- devolution ISUs Fig 2 introduces the concept of the “collective centre”, as opposed to the bodies which are organic to the centre. There are some important differences in characteristics between the collective centre and the organic centre: • The collective centre, being composed of representatives of all departments and of the organic centre, can represent the service as a whole, but it is (by definition) mainly composed of staff who can only devote a limited proportion of their time to collective centre work; V 1.0 14
  18. 18. NICS IS Strategy Development – Strategy Report • The organic centre has (in theory, at least) the resources to devote to the work of the centre, but it risks failure through lack of support and ownership if it operates in isolation from the collective centre. The challenge would therefore appear to be to ensure that: • the constitution of the collective centre is such that it can effectively own the strategy and direct its implementation; • the organic centre has the right resources, in both quality and quantity, to support the collective centre effectively; • the two parts of the centre work together effectively. 4.3.2 Elements of the Collective Centre PSG(E) PSG(E) is a sub-group of PSG with the terms of reference “to consider how the modernising of service delivery can best meet the needs of customers and the business needs of government in the 21st century”. To date, PSG(E) has been concerned with such issues as the Online NI e-government strategy, the management of ICT-enabled mission critical projects, broadband aggregation and the creation of a Centre of Excellence for project and programme management. A view has prevailed that PSG(E) should not have a permanent remit and that, constitutionally, it would be wrong to see PSG(E) as in any way representing an NICS management board. However as the e-Government Board and PSG(E) have come to grips with the need for a strategic oversight of major ICT projects and programmes, because of the significant resource commitment involved, the potential for interdependencies to arise and the collective impact of such developments on frontline staff, there has been a realisation that if PSG(E) does not undertake this role, yet another very senior body will have to be created to do so. The NI eGovernment Unit has been given the task of developing options for the enhancement of the PSG(E) role, particularly in relation to the coordination of the ICT related programmes and projects needed to deliver the reform and modernisation of public services. The eGovernment Board Previously known as the e-Government Project Board, this Board is composed of representatives of departments (at Grade 5 level) and of the “organic centre” (BDS, NI eGovernment Unit and PSRU). Its terms of reference are “to develop an over-arching framework and to agree associated programmes which address appropriate aspects for the integration of information and communications technologies to deliver public services in NI; and to oversee their implementation”. NICS ICT Management Committee Previously known as the Heads of ISU Forum, the NICS ICT Management Committee exists to provide a corporate approach to the shaping and delivery of the NICS cross-cutting projects, departmental ICT strategies, and to support V 1.0 15
  19. 19. NICS IS Strategy Development – Strategy Report the reform agenda while ensuring the optimum use of ICT resources in the best interest of the NICS. The new role includes a commitment to lead and manage the ICT family by developing and monitoring areas of common interest, sharing and promoting best practice, providing advice and guidance to the ICT HR Management and eGovernment Boards. Agencies and NDPBs are also directly represented on the ICT Management Committee. NICS Accreditation Panel Concerned with security accreditation. NICS Editorial Board Concerned with managing the content and “look and feel” of NICS websites, to ensure coherence and consistency. NICS ICT HR Management Board Concerned with managing the ICT profession in NICS. 4.3.3 Elements of the Organic Centre In NICS, the “centre” is generally viewed as those parts of the service whose primary role is to serve other departments. In the current organisation, two departments fit this description: DFP and OFMDFM. The organic centre from an eGovernment/IS/IT perspective includes parts of both of these departments. NI eGovernment Unit (NIEGU – OFMDFM) NIEGU is in a state of transition from the former CITUNI. The role of an NIEGU was described in OnlineNI: Strategy and Standards: “The new Unit will be responsible for the on-going maintenance and implementation of the OnlineNI strategy”. V 1.0 16
  20. 20. NICS IS Strategy Development – Strategy Report Funding/Incentivisation: NIEGU will control the new NI eGovernment Fund, through the eGovernment Board. Infrastructure: The description of “infrastructure” in OnlineNI covers the portal, contact centre and common applications. Thus it is not confined to the basic ICT infrastructure elements of networks, servers etc, but is more akin to the concept of “key enabling services”, described earlier in this paper. Pilot Projects: The concept was for the NIEGU to sponsor the conduct of pilot projects by departments, with dissemination of lessons learned to the others. There is also a scheme to enable the private sector to propose eGovernment pilot projects. Research and Education: this role was intended to include researching the demand for on-line Government services. Departmental Support: “The e-Government Unit will also be responsible for supporting Departments in the implementation of their own e-Government strategies. In particular, the Unit will be able to understand the resourcing of e-Government projects across Government, to ensure that responses to project pressures in one area do not lead to negative impacts in other areas of the delivery of OnlineNI.” BDS (DFP) BDS is an executive agency of DFP. Its mission is to support the modernising and reform agenda through the provision of business change, ICT and training services, mainly to departments and agencies. It is therefore primarily a service provider organisation, although it does have some centre roles: • Provision of advice to departments on the preparation of business cases; project and programme management for ICT-enabled business change projects. • Chair and secretariat for the NICS ICT Management Committee and NICS ICT HR Management Board. • Representation on the eGovernment Board, PSG(E) and departmental IS Steering Groups and equivalent bodies. • Head of Profession for ICT staff. Public Sector Reform Unit (PSRU – OFMDFM) PSRU is a unit within OFMDFM. The Unit’s mission is “to lever change to improve public services through reform and modernisation.” It also has responsibilities in connection with Freedom of Information and Data Protection in NI. In that context, PSRU has been made responsible for managing the NICS EDRMS programme. The EDRMS programme manager also has the title “NI Information Manager”, a role which has not yet been fully defined. The Project and Programme Management Centre of Excellence (PPM CoE - DFP) The discussion of the first two topics has highlighted the central place of mission-critical projects and key enabling services in the implementation of the strategy. BDS has carried out a scoping study into the implementation of 5 a programme and project management centre of excellence (PPM CoE) in NI. The report recommends the establishment of a “virtual” CoE, centred on a new unit to be formed in DFP’s Central Procurement Group (CPG). The 5Centre of Excellence: NICS programme and project delivery. BDS Report 12/03 dated May 2003 V 1.0 17
  21. 21. NICS IS Strategy Development – Strategy Report PWC study into mission-critical projects and key enabling services, referenced earlier, also addresses the question of the role of a PPM CoE. The PPM CoE central unit has not yet been formed. Looking at the relevant OGC guidance , the CoE roles in relation to portfolio 6 management seem to be most relevant to the implementation of the IS strategy: • Develop the portfolio of programmes and projects; • scrutinise and assess the alignment of the programmes and projects with PSA targets or other corporate objectives; • assess the capability and capacity of the organisation to deliver the portfolio successfully; • provide regular reports (including recommendations) to the management board based on the information from the activities above. Although, as noted above, there has been some reluctance on the part of PSG(E) to regard themselves as a “management board”, it seems likely that PSG(E) will fill this role in relation to the IS strategy and the associated programme of work. The Business Support Services Forum The Business Support Services Forum (BSSF) has been created to encourage joint working between those elements of the organic centre concerned with training, business improvement and new technology, to ensure that work in these areas is aligned with PSG’s strategic direction and with the overall reform agenda. 4.4 General Capabilities The most recent account of general IS/IT capabilities across NICS was given in the eHR ICT Strategy . This review was carried out on behalf of the eHR 7 programme, in the absence of a corporate ICT strategy. Although, of necessity, it concentrates on the capabilities of the NICS community to support the envisaged technical architecture for eHR, it is nevertheless widely regarded as the nearest thing to an up-to-date ICT strategy for NICS. The key points of relevance to the Corporate IS strategy are: • The public service network (PSN) and the restricted network PSN(R), which provides for secure communication between departments and access to the GSI, together provide the backbone for interdepartmental communication within the Northern Ireland Civil Service. • There is sufficient commonality and connectivity between the ICT infrastructures of the core departmental groups to allow a corporate service like eHR to be provided via XML transactions between departmental information servers (“DIS-boxes”) and the eHR system. 6 OGC – CoE Briefing Pack Version 3.0 7IT Strategy and Infrastructure review to support the implementation of e-HR facilities V0.3 OGC, July 2003 V 1.0 18
  22. 22. NICS IS Strategy Development – Strategy Report User access would be via the web browser. By taking a standards-based approach, workflow elements of eHR could be made to work for both the Microsoft Exchange and Lotus Notes communities. • For the exceptions noted earlier (SSA, CSA and parts of DEL) who are not fully connected to the corporate infrastructure, services like eHR could be accessed directly via the web browser. Similar arrangements could be made for external users, who require to use the services via the Internet. 4.5 Desktop Situation A recent survey on behalf of the Heads of ISU Forum concluded that there 8 was a “reassuring degree of commonality in relation to desktop equipment and infrastructures”. The survey returns showed that Departments: • had very similar desktop infrastructures; • were procuring equipment of similar specification; • procured through the NICS call-off contracts; • had similar equipment replacement policies; • had similar equipment refresh programmes; • had similar arrangements for configuration and installation; • had similar arrangements for desktop support. 4.6 Resilience As noted in the previous section, the degree of dependence on IS/IT in NICS has increased markedly in recent years. This has been highlighted by recent outages of departmental email systems. Also, as more services for the citizen become available on line, there will be an expectation that these services will be available around the clock. There are many resilience measures built-in to the current NICS infrastructure, such as replicated servers and data storage, but responsibility for providing such measures currently rests with departments – they are not fully coordinated on a service-wide basis. 4.7 Planned Capabilities The major IS/IT-enabled projects currently in progress aimed at increasing NICS eBusiness/IS/IT capabilities are described below. 4.7.1 ASP The accounting systems programme (ASP) is on track to provide all departments of NICS with a new set of services to support accounting and financial management functions. The programme aims to procure a single managed service for all departments, both to replace the current Oracle Financials-based common accounting system and to provide additional functionality. 8 HOISU Benchmarking Club Desktop Survey – September 2003 V 1.0 19
  23. 23. NICS IS Strategy Development – Strategy Report 4.7.2 eHR In addition to re-engineering HR processes across the public sector, the eHR project has the potential to facilitate the development of other key aspects of the e-Government agenda, such as a single sign-on facility. This back-office modernisation project may ultimately be delivered from a shared service centre and the consolidation of this facility with other cross-departmental projects could result in major benefits for the delivery of other e-enabled services and the realisation of significant efficiencies across the NICS. 4.7.3 EDRMS Electronic document and records management, and its related workflow capability, is needed to help departments realise their e-business strategies and will define how they function as e-enabled organisations. The EDRMS project is described in more detail at Annex E (Information Management). A framework agreement for the supply of EDRMS products has been procured. The current plan is to carry out “lead implementations” in three departments, using a single product from the framework. This will lead to a service-wide EDRMS implementation, probably based on a single managed service. 4.7.4 OnlineNI portal The OnlineNI portal provides a single entry point via the Internet to over 2000 public sector websites and is a key first step in delivering the OnlineNI Strategy. Deep linkages to the specific relevant parts of the linked sites facilitate access for the citizen. Information on the portal is sorted by key themes (or information streams) such as Health, Transport, and Agriculture. OnlineNI is the subject of a current publicity campaign, which will drive up public awareness and is seen as the future model for simplifying online access to public services. The OnlineNI service will soon be available via digital television and public access kiosks. 4.7.5 Government Gateway The Government Gateway service from the Office of the e-Envoy is co- ordinated by NIEGU in liaison with BDS. It provides a facility through which individuals wanting to access public services online can be authenticated and have their transactions securely routed electronically to the various service providers. At present there are 3 NI services available via the Gateway, with a further 5 waiting in the wings. It has been funded to date via EPF. The future cost to be levied by OeE for Gateway services is uncertain and there is ongoing activity to determine the best way ahead. There are also immediate concerns about the technical architecture needed in Northern Ireland to sustain the service. 4.7.6 NICIC The Northern Ireland Citizen Information Centre project consists of two stages; stage 1 is about replacing the obsolete call-handling facilities and stage two delivers three pilot projects aimed at learning about the business issues involved in managing and delivering multi-channel contact centre services. The use of telephony as a key channel for the delivery of public services has been recognised by all departments and is a key element in their e-business V 1.0 20
  24. 24. NICS IS Strategy Development – Strategy Report strategies. It is clear that efficiencies could be derived via standardisation and consolidation of this type of back-office service across the NICS and therefore there is a requirement for a contact strategy for the NICS. The timely outcome of the NICIC project should inform that strategy. 4.7.7 Mobile Computing Pilot The e-Government Unit owns the mobile computing pilot project which is aimed at proving the viability of access to office systems from remote locations, via wireless GPRS technology. Mobile technology can facilitate beneficial changes in working patterns and can improve internal communications for all staff who are frequently on the move. The use of the technology has been largely proved, although there is an outstanding concern about security standards, which is presently being resolved. In addition, further work is required to investigate the benefits that might accrue through the introduction, where appropriate, of wireless LAN technology. This will also require resolution of security concerns. 4.7.8 Windows 2003 (W2k3) This programme aims to delivery a fully supported and agreed strategic network operating system across NICS, that is based on a Windows 2003 server multiple forest solution with a common schema and centralised common directory. The work also includes the development of fully operational standards, policies, procedures and governance arrangements for developing and maintaining the commonality of the design plus a means to grant access to information and appropriate active directory-enabled applications across departments via Windows 2003 cross forest transitive trusts . The common approach has been publicised to the wider public sector 9 in an attempt to influence interconnectivity and interoperability beyond the NICS community. This project was originally owned by the e-Government Unit, but is now delivered as a programme with a central project and 6 supporting projects – one in each ISU. SRO responsibility for the programme rests with BDS. It has been largely funded from Executive Programme Funds and is making good progress. A Strategic Advisory Group has been established to ensure that design, polices and practice are maintained after the Programme Board stands down. 4.7.9 Web+ Web+ provides a capability for every unit within the NICS to manage its own web content, with an enhanced search facility and improved access for the disabled. Although the project is initially focused on external Internet sites there is also considerable potential for using these tools in the corporate and departmental intranet environments. The project involved the purchase of a licensing agreement for a high quality web content management solution and undertaking pilot work to ensure that the chosen product, Obtree, can tightly integrate with the NICS infrastructure. The pilots will also establish the procedures and practices necessary to ensure successful delivery across the NICS. The lessons learned from the pilots will inform the project to roll out across the NICS. A solution to develop and deploy electronic forms (e-forms) 9 Some readers may wish, as I did, to look up what this phrase means! Click for enlightenment V 1.0 21
  25. 25. NICS IS Strategy Development – Strategy Report was also purchased and will be piloted before it is available across the NICS. Eforms are considered another key component of electronic service delivery. 4.8 Conclusions 4.8.1 IS/IT Management Collective Centre The strength of the collective centre has been improved by: the creation of PSG(E) and the eGovernment Board, and the re-constitution of the Heads of ISU Forum into the ICT Management Committee. There is room for further improvement in clarifying the accountability and authority of the elements of the collective centre. The creation of the eGovernment fund, to be managed by the eGovernment Board, is a step in the right direction. Organic Centre The organic centre is too distributed, both across the two departments and between the various groups and units involved. There needs to be a clearer distinction between the strategy/policy/management and service provision roles. Management and governance recur later in the report as a strategic theme. 4.8.2 Current Capabilities A combination of strategic collaboration between NICS departments and the centre, the emergence of de facto standards, and market forces, has created a situation where there is a very useful degree of commonality and interoperability between NICS departments. One only has to compare the current situation to that of only 3-4 years ago, when the simple act of sending an email from one department to another could not be taken for granted, to appreciate how much progress has been made. But some concerns remain: • A corporate ICT strategy is still required, to strengthen the overall strategic grip and reduce the dependence on market forces to achieve interoperability. A starting point for the corporate ICT strategy is the enterprise architecture, which is explored in the next section. • The complexity of the overall network and the divided responsibility for its management make it vulnerable to failure, whether through error or as a result of deliberate attack. Ways need to be found to improve both the resilience and security of the ICT infrastructure. • Ways need to be found to maintain interoperability with those parts of the service for whom NICS is not the primary IS/IT service provider; • Consideration should be given to widening the scope of the NICS IS/IT infrastructure, to improve communications with NDPBs and other parts of the wider public sector, such as local authorities. V 1.0 22
  26. 26. NICS IS Strategy Development – Strategy Report 4.8.3 Planned Capabilities The projects described above look set to deliver significant improvements in capabilities. But there are some major concerns, such as the current lack of funding for EDRMS. The management of this, and other projects to deliver key enabling services, is the focus of one of the strategic themes, below. V 1.0 23
  27. 27. NICS IS Strategy Development – Strategy Report 5 IS Strategic Themes 5.1 Introduction The concept of an “IS Theme” is described in the OGC IS Strategic Planning guide as follows: “A theme is an IS/IT-related grouping of developments and other changes which will help to take the organisation forward in pursuit of its business strategy and objectives.” This section presents a number of such themes emerging from the foregoing analysis of the Department’s business and current IS/IT support. The discussion of themes below consists of: • A description of the theme and the strategic issues to which it relates; • A “vision” of the desired situation with regard to each theme, to be achieved by the end of the strategy period (ie in 3 years’ time); • An outline of the action required to achieve the vision, including an assessment of the impact on actions already under way. The themes are: • An enterprise IS architecture for NICS • Key enabling services • Governance and management • Information management • Information assurance • ICT service provision/sourcing The examination of each theme leads to (1) a vision of how we see the situation under that theme’s heading by the end of the strategy period and (2) a list of things that need to be done if the vision is to be achieved. The elements of the vision are then assembled into the overall vision, in the next section, and the actions become the implementation plan. 5.2 Theme 1 - An Enterprise IS Architecture for NICS 5.2.1 Description The description of the current situation, at Section 4, concluded that the NICS had achieved a useful degree of interoperability between departments, but that this was due as much to market forces and the growth of de facto technical standards as to any positive strategic direction from the centre. The section concluded with a recommendation that there should be a corporate ICT strategy, in order to strengthen the strategic grip and reduce the reliance on the technology market to bring about interoperability. While it is the role of a corporate ICT strategy to say what technical standards should be applied across the service, the IS strategy should identify the areas V 1.0 24
  28. 28. NICS IS Strategy Development – Strategy Report where standards are required. This is the purpose of an enterprise IS architecture. Annex C develops and presents an NICS enterprise IS architecture, taking as its starting point the “building blocks” described in the Online NI eGovernment strategy. It concludes that the focus of an ICT strategy would be on the corporate ICT infrastructure element of the enterprise IS architecture. The ICT strategy would identify which technical standards should be applied to which component of the infrastructure. This would be driven primarily by the need to make the whole enterprise work in a seamless manner. It would also need to take account of Government-wide standards (principally those set out in eGIF). The concept of the NICS enterprise IS architecture is similar to that of the “Blueprint for eGovernment”, under development by the eGovernment Unit in GB. As the concepts are very close, and there would be considerable merit in putting eGovernment on NI on the same footing as the rest of UK, this version of the NICS enterprise architecture should be considered a first draft. It should be reviewed and updated when the blueprint for eGovernment is available later this year . 10 5.2.2 Vision The NICS enterprise IS architecture provides the blueprint for the provision of IS services throughout NICS, with a focus on access by the citizen and on interoperability and information sharing between NICS departments. It is the foundation for the NICS corporate ICT strategy, which will identify the actual standards to be applied to the components of the architecture. 5.2.3 Actions The principal action arising under this theme is the development of an NICS corporate ICT strategy. 5.3 Theme 2 – Key Enabling Services 5.3.1 Description The concept of key enabling services was introduced earlier. At the workshop on 12 March 2004 it was agreed that the focus of the IS strategy should be on the delivery of key enabling services, to ensure the success of the mission critical projects and the effective working of the NICS. It is therefore important to have a comprehensive and up-to-date portfolio of key enabling service projects on which to focus the strategy. Mission Critical Projects – the PWC List The starting point is the current list of key enabling services taken from the review of mission critical projects conducted for PSG(E) by Price 11 Waterhouse Coopers. Although the report does not distinguish between mission critical projects and key enabling services, in the context of the IS 10Note on V1.0: at the time of writing of this version, the Blueprint for eGovernment was not yet available from the GB eGovernment Unit 11 Review of Mission Critical ICT Projects V1.1 PWC, 30 Jan 04 V 1.0 25
  29. 29. NICS IS Strategy Development – Strategy Report strategy, the distinction is important. The table below lists the items from the PWC report considered to be key enabling services: Project Justification/Explanation e-HR A key business enabler ASP A key business enabler EDRMS Business and information sharing enabler. Workflow element also a technical enabler for other projects, eg e-HR Knowledge Network Information sharing Online NI Portal Access enabler NICIC Access enabler Government Gateway Access enabler Pointer Common data structure and database – enables information sharing and application integration, within the limited area of postal addresses. Windows 2003 Operating system – a key component of the ICT infrastructure– underpins most other initiatives Broadband Aggregation Common approach to providing wide area connectivity Comparison with OnlineNI Building Blocks The eGovernment strategy (OnlineNI) put forward a series of “building blocks” for the strategy. The table below compares the Online NI building blocks with the key enabling services identified above. While the quite strong correlation between the two is evidence of the link between OnlineNI and the IS strategy, introduced previously, some significant gaps remain to be filled. OnlineNI Building Block Current Initiatives/ Gaps/Comment Key enabling services Multiple access channels OnlineNI (the Also addressed by the portal), NICIC, Digital Divide/Inclusion Government agenda? Gateway Common user interface CRM in NICIC But confined to NICIC and front-office customer – does not provide “a management system single view of the citizen and allows data to be easily shared across all parts of government” Knowledge management Knowledge Provision of and decision support Network? management systems information is poor in most departments. ASP should improve that. Integration between all EDRM EDRM scope includes V 1.0 26
  30. 30. NICS IS Strategy Development – Strategy Report OnlineNI Building Block Current Initiatives/ Gaps/Comment Key enabling services major government systems enterprise application integration Integrated/common Windows 2003 Windows 2003 could infrastructure be the foundation of an integrated, common infrastructure but only if that is the intention Rationalisation of EDRM, Pointer EDRM preparatory information holdings work in depts, such as information audit, is heading in right direction. Pointer is an example, in a very specific area, of rationalisation at the data level. Comparison with the Enterprise IS Architecture Annex C developed and presented an enterprise IS architecture for NICS Comparing the list of key enabling services with the enterprise IS architecture, it is concluded that key enabling services are: • Online NI Portal • Government Gateway • NICIC • EDRMS • Windows 2003 • Broadband Aggregation The order in which they are shown above reflects their respective positions in the architecture model (applications at the top, platforms and network infrastructure at the bottom) rather than their relative importance. On that basis, EDRMS would top the list, with Windows 2003 a close second. The analysis of gaps between the current list and the generic architecture would suggest that a further key enabling service and associated delivery project should be defined, to develop a common staff directory service. 5.3.2 Vision NICS will support the delivery of its ICT-enabled business change programmes and projects through the corporate provision of key enabling services. The projects to deliver the key enabling services will be managed as a programme. V 1.0 27
  31. 31. NICS IS Strategy Development – Strategy Report 5.3.3 Actions The main action arising from this theme is the definition of the programme required to bring together the management of the projects to deliver key enabling services. Arrangements for the management of the programme are dealt with under the next theme heading. 5.4 Theme 3 - Governance and Management 5.4.1 Introduction The current situation was described in detail in the previous section, where the concepts of the collective and organic centres were introduced. Under this theme, we propose a new model for the governance and management of IS/IT, based on the principles and practice of programme management, as set out in the OGC’s Successful Delivery Toolkit . 12 5.4.2 Assertions and Assumptions First, some assertions: • A strong, well-organised collective centre with clear terms of reference that give them the ability to get things done, is essential; • The collective centre must be supported by an adequately constituted and resourced organic centre; • The two parts of the centre must be able to work together as an effective whole. Key to this are: clearly defined roles, mutual understanding, trust and respect. The main areas for improvement appear to be, firstly, to define and create a “management board” role within the collective centre. Secondly, there needs to be a clearer distinction between the strategy/policy/management and service provision roles in the organic centre. Next, some facts/assumptions: • It would be more acceptable (in the short term at least) to work with existing organisational units, if necessary by adjusting their boundaries and terms of reference, than to propose new organisational units. Longer term organisational changes may be desirable once the new arrangements have been seen to work satisfactorily, in order to consolidate the changes. • The organisational units concerned are split between two departments: DFP and OFMDFM. It would be advantageous to find a way of working together that transcended departmental arrangements and enabled them to work as an effective corporate centre. 5.4.3 The Programme Management Model Concept and Rationale The main conclusion of the discussion of the previous theme was that the focus of the IS strategy should be on the delivery of key enabling services, to 12 Successful Delivery Toolkit V4.50 OGC February 2004 V 1.0 28
  32. 32. NICS IS Strategy Development – Strategy Report create an environment in which departmental and cross-departmental systems could operate to deliver NICS’s business. It also concluded that the projects needed to deliver the key enabling services should be managed as a programme. This conclusion provides us with a model for the corporate governance and management of IS/IT in NICS – the programme management model. Reference Information A full description of the programme management model and guidance on its application are to be found in OGC’s Successful Delivery Toolkit. A concise description of the model, in the context of the NICS IS Strategy, is at Annex D to this report. How the Model would apply to the NICS Strategic IS Programme The model covers the organisation and processes required for programme management. Fig 3 below describes the organisational components and also recommends how they should be implemented within NICS. Fig 3: Programme Organisation Fig 4 puts the NICS strategic IS programme into an overall organisational context. Fig 4: Programme Context PSG PSG(E) NICS Strategic Business IS eHR ASP Delivery Programme Programmes Completion of the IS strategy report and its acceptance by the eGovernment Board will constitute the identifying and defining phases of the programme. The establishment phase will demand the creation of the necessary organisational structure and the appointment of staff to posts. Of all the programme management CSFs listed in the OGC guidance, the most critical would appear to be the availability of personnel with relevant skills and experience to set up, manage and deliver the programme. Some external resources may be needed, at least in the early stages of the programme. V 1.0 29
  33. 33. NICS IS Strategy Development – Strategy Report 5.4.4 Vision The IS key enabling services identified in this strategy will be delivered through a programme, in which the relevant projects and associated activities are co-ordinated and managed as a unit such that they achieve outcomes and realise benefits. The programme management structure will be centred on a programme office, to be located within the NIEGU. The programme will be directed by PSG(E), acting as a management board, supported by the eGovernment Board in the role of sponsoring group. The chair of PSG(E) will be the SRO of the programme and the chair of the eGovernment Board will be the programme director. 5.4.5 Actions The main action arising under this theme is to establish the programme. Essentially, this involves the acceptance of the strategy (which equates to a programme vision and mandate), and the mobilisation of the required resources. It will demand the following organisational changes: • Revision of terms of reference for the eGovernment Board to reflect its new role as the sponsoring group/programme board; • Establishment of the programme office. 5.5 Theme 4 - Information Management 5.5.1 Description Information Management (IM) was introduced earlier as a strategic driver. OGC guidance describes IM as: 13 … the means by which an organisation efficiently plans, collects, creates, organises, uses, controls, disseminates and disposes of its information, both structured records and unstructured information; and through which it ensures that the value of that information is identified and exploited to the fullest extent, both in support of its internal operations and in adding value to its service delivery functions. The working paper at Annex E considers the way in which information is currently managed as a resource and shared within the organisation, and suggests any changes required for the future. The conclusions drawn in Annex E are summarised below. (1) As recommended elsewhere in this report, EDRM should form part of an NICS strategic IS programme, along with other key enabling IS services. (2) PSRU should take the lead in developing the corporate core of a functionally-based information model of the service that can be used by all departments as the basis of their departmental reference models, and by as many applications as possible. Account should be taken of the work done by the KM team on mapping NICS departmental categories to the Government Category List (GCL). 13 OGC Successful Delivery Toolkit V4.05: online at http://www.ogc.gov.uk/sdtoolkit/reference/deliverylifecycle/info_mgmt.html V 1.0 30
  34. 34. NICS IS Strategy Development – Strategy Report (3) Guidelines should be developed by the central group of the NICS strategic IS programme board for managing the IM/IS/IT relationship at departmental level. (4) NICS should develop a KM framework, with the objective of improving knowledge sharing throughout the service. (5) An agreement should be negotiated with OSNI for the supply of GI to NICS departments and agencies that delivers better value for money that the current individual departmental arrangements. BDS should take the lead in the negotiations, working with a GI user group, comprised of representatives of the main GI user departments and agencies. 5.5.2 Vision (1) The corporate focus for IM will remain with PSRU. As PSRU will be a member of the central core of the Sponsoring Group for the NICS strategic IS programme, the IM/IS/IT relationship at the centre will be strengthened. (2) Guidelines will be available for the management of the IM/IS/IT relationship by departments. (3) The same functionally-based information model of the service, initiated by the Centre for corporate functions and extended by departments to cover specific departmental functions, will be used by a wide range of applications, including ASP, eHR, EDRMS, Online NI portal and NICIC. (4) NICS will have a knowledge management framework, to facilitate the sharing of knowledge throughout the service. (5) There will be a corporate agreement with OSNI for the supply of geographic information (GI) to NICS departments and agencies. 5.5.3 Actions The main actions arising under this theme are: (1) Implementation of EDRM throughout NICS, as a key part of the NICS strategic IS programme. (2) Development of guidelines for managing the IM/IS/IT relationship at departmental level. (3) Development of the corporate core of a functionally-based information model of the service that can be used by all departments as the basis of their departmental reference models. (4) Development of a KM framework, to facilitate the sharing of knowledge throughout the service. (5) Negotiation of a corporate GI supply agreement. 5.6 Theme 5 – Information Assurance 5.6.1 Description The vulnerability of the NICS network was introduced earlier, both as a strategic driver and as a comment on the current situation. The consequences V 1.0 31
  35. 35. NICS IS Strategy Development – Strategy Report of failure are felt as an impact on the use of information by the business, in one or more of a number of ways. Denial of access to critical information is probably the most common impact, but loss, alteration or corruption of information also have to be considered. The topics of information security, risk management and business continuity management have recently been brought together under the heading of information assurance (IA). IA is seen as a key element of corporate governance and, as such, very much the concern of senior management. The sponsor department for information assurance in GB is the Central Sponsor for Information Assurance (CSIA), in the Cabinet Office. CSIA defines information assurance as: …the confidence that information systems will protect the information they handle and will function as they need to, when they need to, under the control of legitimate users. CSIA has produced a range of IA guidance documents for departments under the general heading of the eGovernment Strategy Policy Framework and Guidelines. A briefing paper on the topic of IA has been prepared by BT on behalf of the 14 Information Assurance Advisory Council. The IAAC recommends that organisations should develop an IA framework, with four components: Ownership • Establish ownership by the board. • Nominate a senior individual who must stay abreast of obligations and responsibilities and provide advice on how to comply with legislation and best practice. Organisation Structure the organisation such that: • IA is woven across the whole organisation. • Collaboration is encouraged between IA specialists and business managers. People • Employee awareness. • Incentives schemes and performance measures to develop best practice in IA. Process Establish and oversee information risk management, to determine the acceptable level of information risk and agree and implement appropriate protective measures. 5.6.2 Current Situation in NI NICS has paid a lot of attention to information security in recent years. Amongst the achievements in this field was the accreditation of the Public 14 Information Assurance Guidelines for Boards and Senior Manager – BT/IAAC 2002 V 1.0 32

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