VP: Departmental support vital to wireless projects

The support of a specific government department or business unit is one of the main keys to creating a successful business case for wireless solutions.

This is the advice Jon Barry, a vice-president with Fujitsu Consulting (Canada) Inc., has for government executives who are looking to launch a wireless technology project.

“First and foremost look at a specific business unit sponsorship or a department sponsorship,” Barry said in a recent interview. “Lacking a specific business unit sponsorship is a death knell for a project.”

And Barry knows what he’s talking about. Fujitsu Consulting (Canada) Inc. recently won a contract to provide the City of Mississauga, Ont., with mobile applications and wireless enterprise architecture. The project is aimed at improving the efficiency of city fire inspectors, building inspectors and by-law enforcement officers.

In addition to having a department or agency supporting a project, Barry said a wireless initiative needs to have a government executive and a government IT representative who are familiar with the technology.

“It’s almost impossible to come up with a business case unless you have some idea of what’s out there and how to pull these things together,” he said.

At Fujitsu Consulting, Barry said they use the term “DNA” to explain the main aspects of a wireless solution that project leaders need to be aware of. These include: the device, the network, the application and the architecture.

“We use the ‘A’ twice,” he said jokingly.

The final piece of advice Barry has for creating a wireless business case is not to focus solely on productivity or efficiency components.

“The reason I say that is…you run into a big change management issue,” he said. “If employees think you’re building something to track them, or make them more efficient, or [they] have the perception you’re going to make them do more work, [then] you can run into an issue.

“The successful business cases we’ve seen have had good components of customer service for example. Something that significantly improves things for the people the government is servicing.”