Applications R&D Underway


April 21, 2009 by Jim Morton

We have had a vision for some time of how we would like to deliver ICT services to our staff and citizens, both now and in the future – based on our understanding of the way in which the world is moving and the way in which the public are going to expect services to be delivered. The vision was first expressed a a series of vignettes in WCC’s ICT Strategy and was then passed on to me to flesh it out a bit.

After a period of mild panic, internet plagiarism and soul searching I distilled the ICT elements to deliver the vision into a number of generic, slightly dull sounding, but really quite challenging key concepts, namely:

Service Orientation
Business Process Focus
Data and Information Efficiency
Contextual Access

This vision was bundled up into the edgy sounding New Wave Applications (NWA) approach that I then spent a number of months circulating around colleagues. The upshot of all that circulation was the formation of a temporary R&D function, set up to progress our approach to providing applications from the fluffy utopian vision through to a practical strategy that could be realised within the authority.

The approach to the R&D activity has been split into 3 stages, which we feel can be used to not only address applications but will be equally valid for crystalising our other areas of strategic responsibility such as identity and infrastructure. The stages planned are:

1. Conceptual: researching and testing the assumptions and concepts that our strategic vision is based on.

2. Architectural: understanding the logical building blocks that we will need in order to realise the concepts.

3. Technical: identifying the products and technologies that can best fulfil the roles defined by the architecture, taking constraints (historical, commercial etc) into account.

The team have started working on a series of short term projects within the conceptual phase, all of the projects and the associated results are being documented on the wiki at:

There is also a mildy pointless R&D page on this blog as a sort of signpost to the work.


One thought on “Applications R&D Underway

  1. Simon says:

    Had a look through the Wiki of R&D yesterday and there’s some excellent material in there, demonstrating how we can plug in to services and fuse them together. Also the need for data that is properly presented and managed comes through again and again. Hope the next stages are as successful.

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