Making government more effective

Day 1
15 Sep 2017
09:15 - 09:45


Chair’s welcoming remarks

David Bicknell
David Bicknell
Government Computing

Analyst Keynote: Smarter Working, Smarter Government

GlobalData Public Sector’s chief analyst Jessica Figueras discusses the landscape for smarter working in government. Jessica will examine what tools, technology and methodologies public sector organisations need to properly equip their staff for a future with fewer buildings.

Jessica Figueras
Jessica Figueras
Chief Analyst
GlobalData Public Sector

Government Keynote: Smarter working in a Transformed Civil Service

The government recently celebrated the first anniversary of the Government Transformation Strategy. A year ago, it set out a vision for transforming the relationship between citizens and the state: from the smallest of transactions right up to the delivery of major reform.

Civil service chief executive John Manzoni recently discussed how the Government Digital Service has risen to the challenge of delivering Brexit: building skills – with over 7,500 civil servants having gone through the GDS Academy so far; building shared platforms for digital services, helping to make processes such as online notifications and payments easier and quicker; and providing the right tools for delivery, including supporting more flexible, collaborative and productive working through the provision of Wi-Fi in new hubs in many of the major cities across the UK.

So how could Smarter Working in the Civil Service develop further?

One Team Government

Kit Collingwood-Richardson describes how in June 2017, 186 people came together in London to talk about how they could work across disciplines to make government more effective.

They aspire to make Civil Service policy and delivery the same thing, break down barriers, and talk about shared problems and goals to bring an end to siloed thinking. In short, One Team Government wants to help reform government for the benefit of citizens, with a focus on making it fit for the internet age.

Kit Collingwood-Richardson
Kit Collingwood-Richardson
Deputy Director, Universal Credit
Department of Work & Pensions

Digital Dialogue

Conversation discussing the promise of Smarter Working with one of our commercial partners. What is their insight into the Smarter Working landscape? How do they see that landscape developing? What sort of developments might we expect in Smarter Working throughout 2018?

11:15 - 11:40


The Capability Driver

The Civil Service Workforce Plan for 2016 – 2020 says technology is likely to reshape roles and the Civil Service will need effective leaders who can support people through these changes and equip them with the right skills. In response, the Civil Service must do things differently: becoming more agile whilst transforming its services, and improving the capability of its staff.

Holly Ellis is Director of Capability for the Digital, Data and Technology (DDaT) profession and the Government Digital Service. In this session, she discusses the role of the DDaT profession, which represents 17,000 digital, data and technology specialists across government and the strategic solution that are being deployed to enable the DDaT profession nationwide to scale up in line with government ambitions for digital government.

Holly will discuss the need to build capability within departments – and everything that sits around it: including career progression, pay, learning and development, attraction, culture and the diversity of the DDaT workforce. She will also focus on the ongoing development of a common DDaT Capability Framework for government, as the foundation for implementing change.


Holly Ellis
Holly Ellis
Director of Capability
Digital Data and Technology Profession and GDS

Digital Dialogue

Conversation on a key aspect of the Smarter Working environment with one of our sponsors, discussing how it is developing and its implementing its strategy in this developing area.

Smarter Working in a Big Department – meeting the challenges

What are the challenges involved in making Smarter Working a reality in a large department? The Home Office recently instituted a Smarter Working Programme (SWP) that led to the design of a ground-breaking new office building in Manchester. The building design enabled smarter working by offering staff flexibility in their working arrangements and equipping them with modern technology.

The Manchester project was described as an exemplar of how senior sponsors, managers and staff have worked closely together to embrace change and drive better collaborative working between Home Office business areas, suppliers and customers, and is said to be helping the Home Office achieve better outcomes. But how did the Home Office meet the challenges along the way? And what are other departments’ Smarter Working experiences?

Breakout Sessions

A selection of interactive seminar sessions providing delegates with an opportunity to explore distinct aspects of key importance to the agenda, covering such areas such as technology, leadership, and skills, with particular reference to practical examples of Smarter Working in action.

13:15 - 14:15


The Promise and Potential of SD-WANs

One of the hottest areas in public sector networking is software defined networking.

A software-defined wide-area network (SD-WAN) is regarded as a specific application of software defined networking technology applied to wide area network (WAN) connections, which are used to connect enterprise networks – including branch offices and data centres – over large geographic distances. Previously, such WAN connections would have required special proprietary hardware. What the SD-WAN movement wants to do is to move more of the network control into the “cloud,” using a software approach. Newly emerging SD-WAN technologies can offer more flexibility. For example, because SD-WAN connectivity can be controlled through cloud software, a customer can scale up or “burst” connectivity during times of peak demand.

Such acceptance of internet-based cloud services offers an intriguing backdrop to the rapidly evolving SD-WAN sector especially in government and the wider public sector.

  • Where and how might government bodies use SD-WANs for smarter working?
  • How do SD-WANs fit the public sector’s working requirements?
  • What is the promise, potential and pitfall of SD-WANs to change the landscape for connectivity?
  • How can SD WANS create a more dynamic and smarter public sector working environment?
Michael Bowyer
Michael Bowyer

Digital Dialogue

A further conversation on a key aspect of the Smarter Working environment with one of our sponsors, discussing how it is developing and its implementing its strategy in this developing area.

Panel Session: Technology and the Future of Smart Working

Martin Donnelly, the Chair of The Way We Work Delivery Board has reiterated that people are an organisation’s greatest asset. And the dedication and commitment of its people is said to be one of the best things about working in the Civil Service. But all too often people have been struggling to deliver high quality services against a background of outdated IT, poorly designed workplaces and inflexible working practices. People can only realise their full potential, and that of the organisation they work in, if they are empowered with the right tools and the right environment.

Working smarter means challenging all the assumptions of our traditional ways of working and bringing in new approaches to management and teamwork. Transforming the way we work is not a ‘nice-to-have’. It is the only way to make sure the Civil Service and wider public sector provide the services customers expect and demand, both now and into the future.

So what is the next wave of smart working likely to involve, and how can technology help? In this panel session, we look into our crystal ball and examine the possibilities.

The Role of Public Sector WIFI

Two schemes currently exist to promote public sector Wi-Fi. The Government Digital Service has made a pitch for adoption of a secure Wi-Fi system, GovWiFi, which has been developed for use by civil servants, consultants and visitors to government departments. The service has been designed to replace user and guest Wi-Fi and offers a single Wi-Fi login which can be “simply and cheaply installed by government departments over their existing infrastructure.” GDS developed and manages the service, which recently passed its beta assessment and currently works in over 100 locations across the country.

At the same time a separate ‘govroam’ scheme has been launched by Jisc, the UK higher, further education and skills sectors not-for-profit organisation. govroam evolved from eduroam, an “education roaming” secure access service developed for the international research and education community, which allows students, researchers and staff from participating institutions to obtain Internet connectivity across campus and when visiting other participating institutions.

This session will discuss the merits and take-up of the two schemes and asks whether they are competitive or complementary, and if they are complementary, how they might work together.

Chair’s Closing Remarks

David Bicknell
David Bicknell
Government Computing

16:00 - 16:30