The sweet smell of success - or the stench of failure

If IT works it is an app on a mobile phone – to be taken for granted.

If IT fails it is yet another damn computer system.  

Is that symptomatic of the success or failure of the IT industry and its acolytes and apoligists?

It took a comment from Richard Sarson for me to realise that the effective use of IT was at the heart of a great many of the discussions at the party conferences. What was missing was an understanding of the pre-conditions for success – in particular the intellectual disciplines necessary at every level, from end-user or intelligent customer, through implementation, integration and support technicians to those planning and developing robust, reliable and  easy to use products and services.

I have just finished a second pass on the Information Society Alliance (EURIM) submission to the BIS consultation on “Skills for Sustainable Growth” and a first pass on that on a “Simplified Further Education Funding System”. Both consultation papers showed how much we need the application of intellectual rigour, economic insight and systems engineering discipline if the current spending bloodbath is to be followed by better policies and not just a collapse of confidence in rule from Whitehall and Westminster.

Neither showed any grasp of the extent to which the UK skills base is falling behind that of our overseas competitors, let alone the reasons why.  

The consultation on FE funding appeared particularly ill-judged and designed to re-inforce and preserve the intro-verted, supplier-centric approach of recent decades, ignoring the way in which many traditional UK courses and qualifications, often no longer available in the UK, have been updated for use around the world. 

Meanwhile employers are turning their backs of NVQs because the feedback from those who took the vocational education and training seriously was ignored. I will blog again on this when I have the final round of feedback and the submissions have been made

 

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