The Swiss Informatics Conference (SIK) met on 07th June, discussing the digital transformation of the public administration. IT decision-makers from Switzerland and Liechtenstein presented their current projects and shared their experiences.

Interim consultants in Liechtenstein

Martin Matt, Head of Office at the Office for Information Technology Liechtenstein (AIL), kicked off with his presentation on the model of “interim consultants.” Matt discussed how the AIL brings external know-how to its digitization projects. The biggest recruitment challenge, he said, is that the administration can hardly compete with the private sector for digitalization specialists.

That’s where interim consultants come into play. A senior or principal consultant is hired for several projects. He works internally with a workload of 80 percent. This combines the advantages of internal and external consultants working alongside, sharing expertise, and learning from each other.

Matt also touched on Liechtenstein’s E-ID, which launched in April 2020. It is based on a smartphone app, allows logins and the transmission of personal data to web services and the holder has full data control. It will also give citizens the Covid certificate digitally, linked to the respective E-IDs, and retrievable via the corresponding app.

Blockchain in Jura

Matthieu Lachat, Head of Office, and Xavier Baumgartner, Project Manager at the IT Service of the Canton of Jura, presented the KSI (Keyless Signature Infrastructure) blockchain. Jura is the first Canton in Switzerland to implement it. The solution aims at certifying processes between the population and the administration. One goal of the project is to address the uncertainties and mistrust of the population towards digital tools.

Hybrid Cloud and Microsoft 365 for the digital workplace

Marco Vögeli, Project Manager Digital Workplace at the Office for Information Technology of the Canton of Zurich, explained the Canton’s new digital workplace. According to Vögeli, this will increase mobility, support modern, flexible working requirements, meet today’s security standards, and simplify operations.

The future digital workplace of the Zurich administration will be mobile and flexible. Zurich thus reacts to the home office trend that has started during the pandemic. The project would replace hardware and software and security technologies such as the current IAM. The basis for the future workplace is a hybrid cloud architecture and Microsoft 365, the latter of which Vögeli described as “currently somewhat without alternative.” However, other solutions will be used to replace the current telephone system, because more is needed than Microsoft can offer.

Cloud access audit for more control

Christoph Schwalm, CISO and project manager at AR Informatik, shared some experiences that Swiss administrations had made during a cloud access audit. Such an audit is intended to capture how many and which cloud services are being used in the first place. McAfee conducted the audit. At first glance, the results seemed alarming: Over 2000 cloud services in use, of which over 60 were labeled “high risk.” However, it subsequently emerged that the services in question were mainly affected by data protection problems rather than cybersecurity issues. Nevertheless, some services were blocked. Among other things, the audit had the positive effect that the Canton now takes cloud strategy and governance more seriously, as Schwalm said.

Image: © Die SIK – Schweizerische Informatikkonferenz