Published on May 31, 2024, 7:09 am

In 2016, upon assuming the Chief Information Officer (CIO) role, Lowry showcased a leadership style that favored collaboration over authority. Drawing from his experience in the British public sector, where a rigid command-and-control management approach led to the failure of a digitalization initiative, he understood the importance of fostering alliances and shared vision. Transitioning to spearhead Ireland’s first digital strategy for the government, Lowry championed a collegiate-based strategy to promote cross-department cooperation.

Although progress was gradual, especially facing political resistance on initiatives like the public services card and data center, Lowry persisted. Over time, he succeeded in garnering support even from initial skeptics by emphasizing the necessity of shared data and integrated thinking in achieving a successful digital government model.

A significant milestone during his tenure as CIO was the enactment of the 2019 Data Sharing Governance Act. This legislation was crucial in overcoming bureaucratic hurdles within the Irish government’s complex structure to pave the way for digital transformation while adhering to GDPR standards and ensuring transparent data sharing practices.

Lowry’s achievements extended further with successful projects like the government app integrating COVID tracking and vaccination certificates lauded internationally for its efficacy during the pandemic. Noteworthy is MyGovID, a portal that demonstrates his data-sharing strategy’s value by simplifying user interactions with government services.

Looking ahead, Lowry envisions enhancing citizen engagement through a forthcoming digital wallet offering diverse credentials on mobile devices. Embracing agile methodologies and quick wins while staying aligned with long-term goals remains integral to his three-circle strategy blueprint encompassing regulatory compliance and strategic victories.

The complexity of overseeing digital transformation in the public sector also involves navigating challenges like engaging hyperscale cloud providers responsibly. While facing setbacks due to regulatory conflicts with major tech companies operating under different legal frameworks, Lowry remains committed to finding solutions that balance innovation with privacy considerations.

Despite these challenges, Ireland continues its steady progress towards becoming a trailblazer in digital governance under Lowry’s guidance. With an upward trajectory in DESI rankings for digital public services and ambitious targets set for increasing online service consumption by 2030, his focus on fostering a culture of change within governmental structures stands out as a key factor propelling Ireland towards digital excellence amidst evolving technological landscapes.

As Ian specializes in crafting technology-related content, Lowry exemplifies how effective leadership coupled with strategic vision can drive impactful transformations even within traditionally risk-averse sectors like public administration.


Comments are closed.