Working with the Technology Leaders Network

Andy Beale talks about the latest meeting of the Technology Leaders Network (TLN).

We introduced the Technology Leaders Network to you in November 2014. It’s the governance group for government technology and a vital decision making body for the technology community in government. To give you a better insight into the process and the decisions made we’re starting to blog regularly about their meetings. Please let us know if you think these updates are helpful.

I recently attended the June meeting of the TLN (the 19th meeting of the group). There was a great deal of work done, but I’m going to focus on just a few things.

Common Technology Services

We heard from Magnus Falk, Deputy Chief Technology Officer and current Chair of the TLN, about the progress being made in mobilising the next phase of Common Technology Services (CTS). OCTO began developing it because we wanted to apply our user need led approach to the technology used by civil servants. The Cabinet Office Technology Transformation was a forerunner of CTS, which will help departments to deliver better value technology for civil servants. The results will be:

  • technology that better meets user needs, allowing them to be more productive
  • technology that enables more effective collaboration across government
  • technology that is lower cost

It will increase the consistency of products and services that meet common user needs, making it simpler and faster for departments to deliver them. The scope for CTS includes end user devices, email & productivity, networks, hosting and service management. Magnus and the team will be publishing more information about CTS soon.

Network  Principles

Simon Foster from the Public Services Network (PSN) team was next up. He presented the new Network  Principles for government. These sit alongside previous principles we've published with CESG covering End User Devices and Cloud Services. They formalise the flexibility departments have to choose the right network solutions to match their individual needs, while ensuring consistency across government. The Technical Leaders approved them for incorporation into the technology code of practice and they can now be found here.

Security Network Analysis Platform

Technology Leaders next had an update from James Duncan, PSN Chief Technology Officer, on the Security Network Analysis Platform project, which is closely related to PSN but run independently by OCTO in partnership with CERT UK. The platform aims to generate better, more timely information on cyber threats to government by centrally aggregating and analysing attack data that is already being collected individually by departments, agencies and local authorities.

This platform evolved as part of our work to reform the Public Services Network after it moved to GDS last year. The project is entering the beta phase and the team will post updates later in the year.

Security and Cloud Collaboration at HMRC

The last piece of business I want to tell you about came from HMRC. Chris Franklin, Deputy Director - Security & Information, showed how they have introduced new cloud based collaboration tools for the department, while working through all the potential information risk issues. This encompassed legal — eg Data Protection Act, security — data location, and reputational concerns. It was a great demonstration of how managing information security is just another part of delivering user needs. It was also great to see how this idea, that had originally come up during the Cabinet Office led visit to Silicon Valley last year, came to fruition and has positively impacted so many civil servants.

The next TLN meeting is on the 21 July. We’ll report on highlights from that shortly afterwards.


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