It’s official !
“The Honourable Rona Ambrose (@MP_RonaAmbrose) , Minister of Public Works and Government Services and Minister for Status of Women, along with the Honourable Tony Clement (@TonyClementCPC), President of the Treasury Board and Minister for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario, today announced measures to streamline and identify savings in Information Technology (IT) through Shared Services Canada” , a new government agency (see full press release).
What does this mean?
The Government has over 100 different email systems, over 300 data centres, and over 3,000 network services within the Federal Public Service. This is inefficient and wasteful. The Government will move to one email system, reduce the overall number of data centres from 300 to less than 20, and streamline electronic networks within and between government departments.
How long has this been in the making?
Apparently 12 years if you ask IT insiders.
What do I think?
- I hope this will get rid of the archaic 5mb email attachment restriction imposed by most departments.
- I hope I never have to see one of my clients using I.E 6 ever again.
- I hope that my YouSendIt , DropBox, Freshbooks, Google and Bit.ly links can easily be accessed by public servants without them having to use their smartphones or go to Starbucks.
- I hope I won’t have to help branches/departments write justification documents for unblocking and/or downloading certain tools if another branch/department has already gone through the process.
- I hope this will open the Canadian government up to seriously considering the open cloud and perhaps even Google Apps (as the GSA recently did in the U.S).
- I hope all federal government email addresses will have “@gc.ca” as the domain regardless of department.
- I hope this will force the big proprietary players (i.e. Microsoft) to show a clear value proposition over open platforms or be forced out.
- I hope this will be the end of GEDS as it exists today and platforms such as GCconnex, GCpedia and GCforums will finally get mainstream spotlight and proper funding.
- I hope that all public servants will be able to use that small little feature called “access to the internet” on their smartphones / BB’s.
- I hope that whatever is implemented will be carefully rolled out, built into training, and communicated properly to the technophobes by savvy communicators as opposed to techies.