So I've just got back from the Downing Centre Court, after being excused of jury duty on account of having to care for my six-year-old daughter (who, incidentally, was very relieved to hear I was potentially one of the 'deciders' when I explained to her where I was going). I'd emailed my excuses a week ago and had meant to call to check if I was needed (they only reply by post), but forgot, so made the trip in this morning.
After being shuffled around a bit, I was told I'd been excused last Friday but that I'd be called in the future about another date. 'When my daughter's a bit older?', I ventured. Er, no, any time apparently. I suspect my letter from work explaining about my flexible work hours had got lost at the bottom of the email. Eventually I got myself off the hook for 12 months.
The whole process struck me as very twentieth century. The Sheriff of NSW could surely save him or herself a lot of money by automating some of this – and while it's entirely my fault that I had to go in this morning (on account of not phoning), you'd think there'd be an economic dividend in making the process simpler for people. It surely must be easier to send back an email rather than a letter – better still if I could check the progress of my application for exemption online – and if the application could actually be made in a more structured way online, then important pieces of the puzzle wouldn't get lost at the bottom of emails.
Anyway, the real purpose of sharing all this is that it's a great example of where traditional IT consultants are needed. No amount of Google cloud services or other off-the-peg software as a service is going to solve all this – the Sheriff (bless his or her star-shaped badge) really needs to get someone like SMS Management & Technology or DWS in to sort it all out. And he or she should do it sooner rather than later, in my not very humble opinion. Of course, all governments, state and federal, complain that they haven't got any money at the moment, but that's just not true – they have plenty of money; what they also have are ongoing costs that are too high, and of course you have to spend money to save money.
I'm not holding my breath, but the current system just can't keep plodding along for, say, another 20 years. At some point money will have to be spent on IT Services, and there are still plenty of areas where traditional consultants have a big role to play.
You can read the results of Intelligent Investor Share Advisor's recent search for investing opportunities in the IT Services sector in IT Services under a cloud and IT Services under a cloud – Part 2.