The future of UK government technology interoperability

When you think about it, it is an obvious requirement

The technology is sort of already out there

You can absolutely achieve all tenants of workstream collaboration using different technical systems. Doing so might be a bit messy to get setup and certainly from a user experience perspective (y’know, that really important cornerstone to technology decision making) but one could argue this helps reduce vendor lock-in.

Google G Suite

I personally get on with G Suite quite well. It is the productivity platform for my consultancy company. I prefer it when working with clients.

  • Google Groups (my teams etc)
  • the whole G Suite tenant (every single other Google G Suite user in the department can access with the link and/or find it through org-wide search)
  • the whole Internet (can access with a link and/or find it through search terms)

Microsoft Office 365

I also have various Office 365 accounts as issued by clients. I get on with it fine, but I spend more of my time in G Suite.

Go on then… predict the future

If the future of UK government technology interoperability is a single platform, then that platform will be…Microsoft Office 365.

Whoa, a single platform?

I haven’t done the user needs research into cross-Whitehall workstream collaboration myself.

Didn’t you talk about best of breed versus all-in-one in your first post?

Yes, yes I did.

Slack (chat) + video (videoconferencing)+ documents (well, documents).

Slack off the bat gives you free-text chat. Check.

  • I have caveated calls working using Zoom, Google, Microsoft, or something else
  • I have caveated documents working in that people can post and others can see a rich description (subject to integrated permissions)
  • Users still may not be able to edit documents if they click a document link though.

Scope is still really important

‘Whitehall departments’ is as narrow as you could likely get while achieving the associated political mandate.

So, what happens next?

Videoconferencing is on the way.

Update #1 — July 2020

It is now late July 2020 as I append a note to the bottom of this post.

You are an Innovator. Move, shake, disrupt, repeat.
“I’m just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake” — T Swifty

Update #2 — June 2021

Well, things haven’t changed much in this space.

Himal Mandalia talking about a cross-UK government People Finder (directory)

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Joel Samuel

Joel Samuel

The thin blue line between technology and everything else. joelgsamuel.com