New focus: new website

This post was originally an announcement on - Changes in Foden Grealy explains why it is here. It refers to a previous website and not the 2015 version of ---

If you have been here before then you may have spotted that our website and its livery have had a fairly major re-fettling. This post explains why.

Over the past year or so there have been earthquakes in Government IT. Good ones. Some enlightened folk in the Cabinet Office with the right mindset and a sensible approach have begun a substantial and workable-looking reform.

This week, for example, the last of the 24 ministerial departments has switched off its website and moved to the new centralised website created by the Government Digital Service. A striking technical achievement certainly; but it is the deft cat-herding of so many diverse organisations that has most impressed us.

Having worked in Government IT for a dozen years or so and watched (through our fingers) some of the quite dreadful things that have happened, it is hugely cheering that there are such changes in the air.

We intend to focus our business on supporting these changes. Specifically - and you'll see this plastered over our home page in big letters - to provide "Sleeves-rolled-up help to implement the Cabinet Office’s IT reform agenda within Government organisations". (If we are completely honest, we will mostly be doing the same things we have always done; it's just that now we don't have to be quite as stealthy.)

We are delighted to say that we have been successful in our tender for the latest G-Cloud contracting framework (G-Cloud being a noteworthy Government IT success in itself). We have been on the framework since its inception and have done work for two departments. We wrote the change strategy for the G-Cloud Programme and helped set up an agile change programme within Defra to improve information sharing and collaboration. See the G-Cloud supplier sales leader-board: we are one slot above Microsoft. Sure to change, but nice while it lasts.

And, incidentally...

...although we are not a tech firm, we have built this website ourselves. In the vein of the G-Cloud ethos, we gave up our traditional web services provider and took on more of the responsibility of creating and managing the site ourselves. In the process, we learned that the service we had before was not that good and we could do better by being a little bit adventurous. Again, in the spirit of G-Cloud we used pay-by-the-hour cloud services and free open-source software. We were amazed at how quickly we made progress and how enormously helpful dozens of people, from all over the world, were in resolving the technical snags we came across. Fine-tasting dog food.