In many jurisdictions, computers are a central part of a local government’s IT strategy, often operating as a “gateway” for the departments to communicate and collaborate with each other.
In a recent survey, more than one-quarter of Canadians (28 per cent) said computers are essential to their IT strategy and nearly one-third (34 per cent), according to an online survey conducted by the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police (CACP).
In some jurisdictions, however, computers can be considered a separate category from computers and have their own IT policies.
For example, a central government in the United Kingdom recently announced a plan to phase out the use of old, non-essential computers in government, with a goal of replacing them with new, nonessential computers by 2025.
The CACP survey also found that most of the people surveyed (63 per cent of respondents) do not feel comfortable using laptops or tablets to access government websites or applications.
Only 14 per cent responded that they do not use a tablet or laptop to access their personal computers.
“It’s really important that the public has the confidence that they can access their information from government systems, and that they’re not being penalized for it,” says CACP president and CEO Mike McCormack.
“The data is there for us to see how we can improve and make the system better.”
The survey also asked respondents whether they would prefer a personal computer to be an employee or a contractor, with 51 per cent responding that they prefer a computer to work for them.
And just under one-fifth (19 per cent): prefer the contractor to work in government.
“There’s been a lot of work done to ensure that governments are using the best IT resources available, and these survey results show that this is the case,” McCormack says.
A recent survey of 10,000 Canadians by The Globe and Mail found that many of them would prefer to use a personal laptop in government if they could get it cheaper.
More than half (57 per cent or 1.4 million) said they would rather have a laptop for personal use and only 20 per cent said they preferred a personal PC to work from home.
But the majority of Canadians surveyed did not believe that their IT departments should be required to obtain their employees’ laptops, even though the data suggests they do.
For instance, only 20% of those surveyed believed their IT department should be obliged to obtain the laptops of employees who are also employees of the department.
McCormack is not surprised by the findings of the survey, which shows that a significant portion of Canadians think that personal computers are not essential for their work.
“What we’re finding is that people are not really willing to take the time to learn how to use computers,” he says.
Follow @CPACGlobal on Twitter for more news on Canada’s IT priorities.”
When people start to see that, we’re going to see a shift in the way that the government is thinking about IT.”
Follow @CPACGlobal on Twitter for more news on Canada’s IT priorities.