What IT is for

It is now a week since the launch of a major game changing initiative which will touch all lives and change the technology landscape.

I of course refer to the launch of the new UK Government ICT strategy and Open Source. Open Standards and Reuse Action Plan.

Sorry, did you think I meant the iPad?

Ah the iPad, which should really have been called the iBlankslate given that it has become a surface for people to project their hopes and fears.

The iPad will destroy the personal computer, it is not for work but every other moment, it is overpriced, it is just a big iPod Touch

So many views on something which has only be seen from a distance. My favourite is that line that the iPad is the machine for those who don’t use existing computers. I assume the advertising campaign will be “Are you dumb enough for the iPad?”

But there are some interesting points of connection between the Government ICT strategy and the iPad.

The ICT strategy is based around the dual pillars of a cloud based approach to system/information delivery and an Apps Store which provides a range of tailored and need-specific tools for working with the cloud systems/information. The iPad is based around the same model.

The ICT strategy seeks to tackle digital inclusion by not just tackling the user interface part of online transactions but also looking at how we can radically transform service delivery models to design needless complexity out of the service. The iPad offers the potential to tackle the former and could help us rethink some of the latter.

The ICT strategy, and in particular the OSOSR action plan, seeks to drive down costs and encourage SME’s/entrepreneurs/Third Sector to work with government by reducing the barriers to entry, facilitating reuse and shifting to a more agile business model where we are more about rapid collaboration and facilitation. The iPad … hmm, well is the iPad about less barriers to entry, more reuse and more flexibility?

My thoughts on the iPad are as idle as anyone else’s but I find it interesting to muse on the links between two groups wrestling with some of the same technological and business model challenges.

I shall return to this.