For Scott Campbell, the number one challenge today is IT governance.
“It may sound pedantic, it may sound odd, it may sound un-sexy,” he says, “but the leading challenge is getting the managerial basics right when it comes to the information management and information technology function in British Columbia’s public sector.”
A former Ontario provincial CIO, Campbell took on B.C.’s CIO job late in 2002 before being appointed interim deputy minister of the Ministry of Management Services. He says reforming IT governance in B.C. will include dealing with accountability, organizational design, staffing, performance metrics, procurement and over-all resourcing strategy.
Among other things, Campbell wants to make sure the business of the province drives its IT activity – not the other way around. He wants to develop performance metrics that not only track statistics, such as system availability, but that also deal with user satisfaction and value.
A shift toward outsourcing means staff requirements are changing.
“We’re going to be doing more things through third-party provisioning,” he says, “and therefore we need to turn our minds to getting current staff retrained and retooled to deal with the new work. That work will be less hands-on technology and more strategy and infrastructure planning.”
Campbell’s mandate includes developing an IT vision for the province. That vision is a work in progress, but he says it will include bridging the digital divide, alternative service delivery models and e-government initiatives in areas like telehealth, integrated justice and land information services.
There are also some short-term goals. One is launching an enterprise portal to provide electronic access to government services.
“We’ve bought all that software, and some hardware to go with it. What we need to do now is make it a working utility,” Campbell says, adding that this should happen in 2003.