Information is the life blood of a joined-up world. Yet, successive initiatives - knowledge management, e-business - have failed to deliver a free flow of information to those who need it in many, if not most, organizations. Old challenges remain, as the projects described in this chapter illustrate.
Take-up is critical: how do you bring disparate, disorganized sources of information together without creating cumbersome, bureaucratic processes that deter potential users? The four case studies in this chapter faced the following challenges:
With the general public seemingly ever more apathetic about the democratic process, e-voting is high on most governments' agenda. Could the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM) use alternative channels to increase levels of inclusion, engagement, and participation? Then, having provided a multitude of possible voting channels, the ODPM had to ensure there was no possibility they could be abused, with one person voting in several different ways. Only technology could provide the answer to this.
Behind the scenes, it is technology integration that matters most.
As a result of a string of acquisitions, BAE Systems had inherited several enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems used for procurement and these were cutting into the savings the company hoped to achieve via electronic trading.
The Neighbourhood Renewal Unit was faced with the prospect of trying to get hard data on successful urban regeneration initiatives to a wide range of people who might find it useful - local residents as well as public agencies.
As one of the world's largest insurance brokers, every piece of correspondence is important to Aon. Shifting this from physical to electronic format was not just a matter of technology; there was also a 300-year heritage of doing business face-to-face and a longstanding suspicion of change.