Leadership

CIO Jury: Bosses bored by election business pledges

Parties have no vision and no coherent agenda...
On the day that UK citizens go to the polls to choose the next government, IT bosses claim the mainstream political parties have all failed to address the business issues that affect them.

That was the verdict of silicon.com's CIO Jury user panel of IT chiefs when we asked them if they thought any of the parties had presented a coherent policy on issues including the economy, regulation, tax, IT and skills.

The result was a resounding and unanimous 'no', with all 12 of the CIO Jury dismissing the business agendas of the political parties during the somewhat underwhelming election campaign.

Bob Silverman, CIO at Spring Group, said nothing he has seen or read shows any difference between the main parties.

"Whoever wins, the burden of regulation will continue to increase," he said.

Luke Mellors, IT director at the Dorchester, agreed that regulatory requirements are creating a strain and said the parties all lack the vision that businesses require to be competitive.

"There needs to be a more comprehensive review process that anticipates and looks at regulatory effects on business. When governments introduce policy that impacts technology there should be a parliamentary review committee that assesses the impact of such decisions on business with respect to the required technology changes that will have to occur," he said.

Others highlighted the fact that there are only a few vague references to technology in the campaign, despite the heavy reliance on IT to cut government costs and improve efficiency through initiatives such as the £6bn NHS IT programme.

Ted Woodhouse, director of IT strategy at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, said: "Clearly all the parties have got policies about the NHS but regarding the National Programme for IT in the NHS - the biggest peacetime IT project ever, remember - there has been, mostly, a deafening silence."

A more cynical Gavin Whatrup, IT director at advertising agency Delaney Lund Knox Warren & Partners, simply said: "IT is used as a badge of modernity when playing the party political game; the insincere obscured by rhetoric. No party has wrapped up the technological bundle into a coherent agenda. We have to draw partial conclusions from a scattering of references to the 'importance of information technology'."

Check out the rest of silicon.com's coverage of the big election technology issues here.

Today's CIO Jury was…

Dr Stuart Brough, head of IT services, University of Strathclyde
Mark Foulsham, head of IT, eSure
Tony Johnson, IT director, Virgin Megastores
John Keeling, director of computer services, John Lewis Partnership
Luke Mellors, IT director, the Dorchester
Colin Moore, head of information services, Department for Education and Skills
Dr John Odell, group IT director, BBA Group
Peter Ryder, head of ICT, Preston City Council
Bob Silverman, CIO, Spring Group
Howard Watson, CIO, Telewest Broadband
Gavin Whatrup, IT director, Delaney Lund Knox Warren & Partners
Ted Woodhouse, director of IT strategy, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

If you are a CIO, IT director or equivalent at a large or small company in the private or public sector and want to be part of silicon.com's CIO Jury pool, or you know an IT chief who should be, then drop us a line at editorial@silicon.com

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