Tag Archives: United States

Irish government to appoint a CTO?

So the government published its paper: Knowledge Society Strategy: Technology Actions to Support the Smart Economy.

There is already plenty of comment – on twitter, in the blogs, on the news and there will be more over the next few days.  Comments ranging from ‘a lot of waffle’, ‘telling us what we already know’, ‘where’s the meat?’, etc.  But buried in the report are enough reference points to show where we’ve been making progress and where we’ve been falling behind.

When I read Friedman’s ‘The world is flat’, listing his concerns about the state of education, engineering in the US, I felt he could have been writing about Ireland.  Ironically he references Ireland as a country pulling itself up and leveraging the flatness of the world.  However the shortage of maths proficient secondary school leavers is a major concern and cannot be fixed over night.

The topics discussed in the paper are very worthy of attention – and do represent opportunities for Ireland Inc e.g. cloud, green data centres, networking.  Delighted to see reference to semantic web – not really that surprising after €25m of government investment.

I just picked out one small detail from the report (p45):

The Government should appoint a high level CTO with the authority to drive cultural change across the many departments and agencies.

I have commented previously on such appointments in the US – within the Obama administration.  I would strongly support such an initiative – though she/he will need plenty of support from Mssrs. Ryan and Lenihan.

Golf making most of web and social networking

I thought 3 made a brilliant job of promoting the Irish Open – using networks including facebook.  However I think the opportunity to play a virtual round at Bethpage for the US open beats this.

This is an example of the web adding significantly to the the user experience ie to the TV golf spectator or the golf newspaper article reader.  Anyone who takes the time to play 18 virtual holes at Bethpage (not having playing the real course) will have a greater understanding of the challenge to be faced by Tiger Woods, Padraig Harrington, etc.

And then there’s the traffic, the advertising potential, etc.

Good luck to all of you who try.  I hope you have more skill at virtual golf than this blogger.

Comparing Ireland and UK in these dark days

Interesting piece by Emmet Oliver in today’s Sunday Tribune – comparing the situation faced by Ireland and the UK.  Times are tough (grim) on both sides of the Irish Sea.  For us the massive devaluation of Sterling has been a killer – hitting our exports and producing this cross border shopping frenzy (further exacerbated by the VAT situation).

The UK has the 60m population to work with – and a currency of which it has control.  We have the young population, the low CT rate, the Irish diaspora, a small population and no control of the Euro currency.

Our very real crisis has forced the government to confront the population with a nasty budget.  The UK approach for now seems to include putting off the evil day.  This would also appear to be the case in the US – although Bernanke is beginning to remind people that having put all this extra money into the economy he will have to take it out again when growth appears again.

Learning from ‘the coach’

Short talk by famous US coach, John Wooden. 

Wooden outlines his own philosophy around teaching and coaching.  Makes it all seem simple and straightforward – and tells it as a good storyteller.  In these days of personal coaches, goal setting, emotional intelligence, Seven Habits…this guy makes a lot of sense.

Brought to my attention by www.twitter.com/missmcj

Is your Doctor (GP) using information technology?

Is your doctor still writing up manual cards to track your checkup visits?  Is your doctor writing out prescriptions for you to take to the local pharmacy?  When you attend a clinic for XRays, MRIs etc how are the records forwarded to you/ your GP?

Huge investments being approved in the US to drive ePateint records/ ePrescribing – with targets for cost saving, improved patient care, etc.

Interesting discussion in recent BusinessWeek article re adoption of these solutions – and major costs involved for individual doctors or small clinics (e.g. 3 doctors).   Also covered in a Reuters story re ePrescribing  last month.

Given all of the challenges facing us in the Irish economy will be interesting to see how we can implement these types of solutions in the Irish market place – to drive quality of service and greater efficiency (and cost savings).