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David Gale

"Do I really care about infrastructure when I can use Google’s grid, or Microsoft, Amazon, eBay or Salesforce.com?"

You should. If you work in the public sector, you had better realise that the impact of the lack of strategic IT architecture will have a profound impact on the sustainability of not just a transformation programme, but on IT's ability to respond quickly and flexibly to the changing needs of the business. The lack of IT architects inside English government has led to the roost being ruled by low-level code-monkeys who believe that data standards are the only significant factor in integration.

For as long as English government continues to allow senior officers to hijack tactical, performanced managed objectives for their own career progression, those same civil servants will align themselves with suppliers who understand that the disjointed, quick-win is ultimately more profitable. Don't take my word for it, have a word with Google who will proudly announce that their strategy is to have no strategy. That they're not interested in systems integration (SI), they just want the easy-fit business, and they're happy to leave SI to the major commercial players... who, once again, will have a complete bean-feast.

Disturbingly, all of this has been documented on the SITFO.org blog, and linked via Tweets from DavidGaleUK and much of it has been taken up by overseas governments and corporations. In England, there seems little appetite inside government to take on the baronial empires of Whitehall with a much-needed fudamental architectural review of the country's underlying infrastructure. Plus ca change...

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