When
· Naughties
· · 2004
· · · October
· · · · 07 (2 entries)

Floatplane! · A day trip to­day, Van­cou­ver to Vic­to­ria and back; some might not find it self-evident that Vic­to­ria is on Van­cou­ver is­land but Van­cou­ver isn’t. There are a bunch of ways to get there; here­with a lit­tle photo-essay on the best ...
 
Outsourcing · To­day in Vic­to­ria (which is Bri­tish Columbia’s cap­i­tal) I spoke at an IT-focused con­fer­ence called Strate­gies for Public Sec­tor Trans­for­ma­tion. It turns out that by “transformation” they meant most­ly out­sourcing; the cur­rent jar­gon is “Alternative Ser­vice Delivery”. Th­ese are smart peo­ple and they are in the same squeeze as a lot of oth­er gov­ern­ments: on one side tax-cutting politi­cians and on the oth­er in­ex­orably ris­ing health-care cost­s. So out­sourc­ing looks at­trac­tive, be­cause lots of times it drives costs down. On the oth­er hand, these are af­ter all IT projects and, as such, a high pro­por­tion of them fail. I al­so think we should be hon­est and ac­knowl­edge is that some of the cost sav­ings come, not from core com­pe­ten­cies and all that, but from pay­ing peo­ple less for the same work. There was al­so a fair­ly hor­ri­fy­ing pre­sen­ta­tion by a wom­an from Texas about the state leg­is­la­ture lean­ing very heav­i­ly on the public-service agen­cies to out­source not just in­fras­truc­ture but ba­sics such as qual­i­fy­ing peo­ple for ben­e­fit­s. Huh? I thought the point of out­sourc­ing was to fo­cus on your core com­pe­ten­cies. In any case, I was there most­ly to talk about iden­ti­ty stan­dards, which isn’t get­ting near­ly enough at­ten­tion; if I were a hot­shot young de­vel­op­er look­ing for a niche to build in with lots room and up­side, that’s where I’d go.
 
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