INSIGHT: Wellington City Council's fascination with 'One Ring' goes too far

NZRise co-chair Don Christie warns... "Putting all the eggs in one technology basket or with one supplier has a high failure rate."

The inhabitants of Middle Earth found the downside of having “One ring to rule them all."

Wellington should be concerned about the impending darkness threatened by the "One system to replace them all" style thinking from the Wellington City Council.

NZRise has been following Wellington City Council's “Project Odyssey” for some time and following Computerworld New Zealand's recent stories, this has led to growing concern.

Our advice to the Council over the past 18 months has been to follow the lead of Local Government Authorities across the globe who are modernising - they are building flexibility and agility into their technology infrastructure and procurement processes.

Intelligence needs to be retained in organisations, this is the idea behind the term “Smart multi-sourcing."

Smart multi-sourcing uses best of breed suppliers for different services and activities is a better and less risky use of ratepayer funds.

Putting all the eggs in one technology basket or with one supplier has a high failure rate, over fifty percent according to some Gartner reports and the lessons from a compulsive approach to outsourcing are clear. Don't do it.

Wellington City Council speaks often about being at the fore-front of creative and digital development but unfortunately these statements become redundant unless it is backed by selecting a range of creative and digitally progressive suppliers.

This is not a case of local companies versus overseas suppliers. Competition drives innovation and is welcome by NZRise members.

It is a case of a short sighted 1990s approach to technology and procurement.

This approach is ill-suited to New Zealand scale. It delivers little value to our citizens or businesses who would like to bring more capability and innovation to our local government sector.

By Don Christie - Co-Chair, NZRise

NZRise is a group business leaders from New Zealand-owned IT firms who have formed NZRise as a non-profit New Zealand incorporated society.

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