New research center at ITU will contribute to better public IT

In collaboration with the Danish Agency for Digitisation, the IT University in Copenhagen is establishing a research center that will provide knowledge about public IT systems development and operation. The research center is part of the Danish government's new IT strategy.

ResearchCollaborationse-governmentdigitization

There is a need for academic knowledge about the development and management of public IT, which can ensure a better foundation for future IT projects and systems. Therefore, the IT University is establishing a research center on public IT, in collaboration with the Danish Agency for Digitisation.

"IT is an integrated part of the core business today. Public authorities managing IT in a responsibly and well is a central factor that enables us to perform governmental tasks and offer citizens and businesses an efficient and contemporary service. We have many good examples to build on, but we need research-based facts and knowledge that will enable us to become even better at developing and managing public IT systems. I am looking forward to working with ITU on a topic that has such importance for the quality of the public service,” says Rikke Hougaard Zeberg, Director of the Danish Agency for Digitisation.

According to Mads Tofte, Vice Chancellor at the IT University, there is a great need for research-based knowledge about public IT projects.

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It is important to have an academic environment that can find out what works and what does not work, so we avoid making the same mistakes over and over again.

Mads Tofte, Vice Chancellor at ITU
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"There are many different reasons why IT projects fail. Usually there is no simple explanation, so there is a need to build up systematic knowledge about the entire catalogue of possibilities for why projects can go wrong. It is important to have a professional environment that can find out what works and what does not work, so we avoid making the same mistakes over and over again," he says.

Will provide recommendations

Based on both successful and failed IT projects and systems, researchers will investigate how the projects are most effectively established, managed, implemented and evaluated. Moreover, the center will conduct research on the transition of projects from development to operation as well as the operation and maintenance of existing public IT systems.

In addition to contributing to academic knowledge on the topic, the research produced in the new center will also be translated into concrete recommendations that IT professionals and project managers can apply in practice. The center will also suggest and contribute to further education programmes aimed at public leaders, among others.

"Many public leaders become responsible for IT projects without necessarily being trained in managing IT projects. They may find themselves not knowing what questions to ask in a steering group. This is not part of the curriculum in legal studies and political science, which people in these positions typically have studied. If you have never learned it, you have no way of knowing it. Therefore, there is a need for further education," says Mads Tofte.

The research center is established as a part of the Danish government's new strategy for management of public IT, which was presented on Tuesday.

Further information

Vibeke Arildsen, Press Officer, phone 2555 0447, email viar@itu.dk