This year we have continued to face a lot of the same challenges which have occupied most of our time over recent years, perhaps more so. Austerity continues to be the background against which we are all working. The situation is unlikely to change for the near future.
I believe that the NEICT has a role to play in developing and supporting ICT across the region and that we have the will and determination within the group to make a difference. We continue to extend our local networks, holding discussions with other public sector organisations in the NELEP area around 5G, Digital, IoT and data (through the NECA Digital Leads group), ICT Security (through our ISNorthEast sub group), asset management (through One Public Estate), PSN and greater collaboration between organisations and with the wider digital community through SOCITM NE. We are playing a significant role in Dynamo North East, an organisation that is focussed on growing our industry in the north east. Extending our Partnership to include Stockton and Darlington Councils through Xentrall as an Associate Partner and renewing our relations with Nexus have proved to be beneficial developments. Through commissioning the Executive Leadership Programme for Women in IT we have catalysed activity in the region around this topic.
Twelve Partnership meetings were held, including an AGM; five of the meetings were held immediately prior to SOCITM NE meetings with the region’s public sector Heads of IT invited. Meetings were held throughout Partners’ offices, at Stellium on Cobalt Park and at Ramside Hall Hotel near Durham.
Resources to support the Partnership remain secure – a financial plan remains in place securing the Partnership Analyst as a full time resource. A healthy, more appropriate, project fund remains available to invest in new collaborative initiatives.
I would also like to acknowledge the contribution of colleagues in our Lead Authority (Durham County Council) ICT and Finance departments for helping with the smooth running of the Partnership and Chris Foreman of Sunderland ICT for supporting our website.