Government of BC Statement
 /  Invero

Government of BC Unleashing the Cloud due to COVID-19

CJ Ritchie is the Associate Deputy Minister and Government Chief Information Officer for British Columbia. Officially, he just signed an amendment to the agreement that governs the province’s use of Microsoft Cloud solutions (Office 365, Azure, Dynamics and Power BI). More specifically, this change addresses the immediate need for government workers to work remotely due to the global pandemic.

So what does this mean?

From the announcement, it intends to be a short-term measure. As a result, it says it is a conditional fact that “personal information is removed from the tools as soon as possible when this period concludes.”

Like many organizations worldwide, the government is struggling to keep its workforce productive while observing social distancing. Cloud solutions are a pronounced way to enable productive work to occur while everyone is physically disconnected.

It means for service providers like ourselves that the government will need help with adopting these technologies. It is not as simple as flipping a switch. Now everyone can work remotely; changes in behaviour and how people work are what they need. Organizational change management is the most challenging part. Still, for short term situations (which is hopefully what we’re currently in), this quick fix approach may work.

What I believe is going to happen is that these government workers will get used to the new modern toolset and won’t want to go back to the old way of doing things. This will put more significant pressure on the OCIO to keep these rules loosened to enable the government to work modernly. Don’t laugh; it may be possible, or maybe I’m a dreamer :).

Regardless, I want to applaud CJ Ritchie for making this move during these challenging times. It is the right thing to do as long as the guardrails are in place to ensure that tools are safe and secure.

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