All posts by James Johns

About James Johns

James Johns is a consultant, strategist and digital policy advisor with more than 28 years' experience helping government organisations to make more effective use of technology. He began his career in the National Health Service and the IT services company Xansa, before spending fifteen years in a range of roles at Hewlett Packard. From 2007 to 2014 he was Director of Strategy for the firm's UK public sector business and more recently was HP's Director of Corporate Affairs for the UK & Ireland. James is a Visiting Senior Research Fellow in the Policy Institute at King's College London and an advisor to the World Economic Forum's National Digital Policy Network.
  • Blockchain: alchemy or wizardry?

    Like the cryptocurrencies that gave birth to them, blockchain technologies attract excitement and scepticism in equal measure. Don’t believe the hype, says James Johns – but in time, blockchain could

    • Posted August 16, 2018
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  • Regaining public trust: co-creating a shared future

    Many national governments are experiencing a crisis of public trust – one which, the OECD suggests, can be addressed by being more inclusive, transparent, receptive and efficient. In the second

    • Posted August 2, 2018
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  • Regaining public trust: sunlight is the best disinfectant

    Citizens’ faith in their national governments is falling across much of the developed world. James Johns considers some of the innovative ways in which countries and cities around the world

    • Posted July 25, 2018
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  • Courting capability, part 2: the business of government

    There are many ways to bring private sector skills into government beyond the mainstream routes of recruitment and secondment. James Johns explores how countries have injected business expertise into departmental

    • Posted July 4, 2018
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  • Courting capability, part 1: tempting talent into civil services

    In many countries, the pressures to cut budgets and introduce digital services have created a need for technical professionals at the most senior levels of government – but most civil

    • Posted June 19, 2018
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  • Transforming routine work: the rise of the robots

    Digitally transforming a service can bring huge rewards – but replacing a legacy system is often complex and risky. So many governments are introducing Robotic Process Automation, stripping the routine

    • Posted June 5, 2018
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  • Spend it wisely, part 2: the digital marketplace

    Government procurement systems are being transformed by a new wave of digital marketplaces and buyer-vendor matchmaking platforms. James Johns examines the new channels open to civil servants charged with buying

    • Posted May 23, 2018
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  • Spend it wisely, part 1: streamlining the tender process

    With so much public money now spent with private sector suppliers, interest is growing in ways to reform and improve public procurement. In the first of two linked articles on

    • Posted May 7, 2018
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  • Beyond the contract: getting value from incumbent suppliers, part 2

    In the second part of our feature on ‘add-on’ sales, poacher-turned-gatekeeper James Johns explores how public sector commercial teams can outmanoeuvre supplier teams and introduce competitive pressures when purchasing from

    • Posted April 30, 2018
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  • Beyond the contract: getting value from incumbent suppliers, part 1

    Nowadays, many public commercial teams know that contract management is just as important as procurement. But there’s a third strand to good commercial operations: negotiating and managing additional work placed

    • Posted April 9, 2018
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