With more than 20 years in the IT field, Harry Hutchings has witnessed many changes and advancements in ESD. Hutchings, director of information technology management for the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador, says it’s the constant evolution of IT and the challenges that these changes present that have kept him working in the public sector for so long.
“I look at this organization and it does present its challenges from an IT point-of-view,” Hutchings said. “It never ceases to keep me occupied.”
Hutchings coordinates IT across the government, providing network support to six government departments and maintains core financial and human resource systems.
As for the initiative that tops his “to do” list, Hutchings is currently working to get better return on investment from the province’s existing systems.
“We went through a fair amount of refurbishment and replacement of systems in recent years and we’re now looking at trying to get more value out of what we’ve got,” he said. “That also links into the more prevailing issue of trying to manage in a very tight budget environment. Dealing with budget constraints is very high on our list.”
Security is another high priority aspect of the IT environment.
“Not only is it about making sure that our systems are secure, but also making sure they are able to deal with the e-government opportunities that present themselves today,” he said. “I look at that as our current challenge to deal with.”
As for future challenges, Hutchings says examining how programs and services can be better delivered on a multi-jurisdictional level is the next big thing in e-government.
“We are using the Internet to better deliver services as we have defined them today based on our existing practice, but a lot of opportunity in the e-government area is really dependent on changing how services and programs are delivered inter-jurisidictionally,” he said.
“A lot of our programs and services today are delivered the way they are because we did not have the Internet and we had physical limitations as to how far we could travel to get to an office. When you look across jurisdictions in a lot of the common areas that each of the provinces now have, there’s opportunity for huge change in how services are delivered by governments to the people.”