After spending seven years with a private oil and gas company, Chris Fisher has spent the last six as the City of Regina’s general manager of information systems. If IT is to be truly successful in the public sector, he says, it must align itself with a strong business case.

“One of the failings was that the IT area was pushing the strategy and it didn’t seem to be working all that well, [with] only minor successes,” he said. “It didn’t have an over all good business perspective of what the priorities were.”

Now, with several online ventures in the works for this year, ranging from online payments, registering for classes and signing out library books to paying utility bills and parking tickets, the strategy is placing more emphasis on the business case for IT-related projects.

Fisher said he feels he made the right decision by going into municipal government because of the gratification he feels when citizens are affected positively by what has been implemented. Still, he acknowledges barriers exist, internally and externally.

“One is educating our own departments on what is possible and on what isn’t at this time, [and] it’s the same with the citizens.”