More than thirty years of ICT for public services

The 1970s. The project to modernise the Public Administration

In 1977 the Piedmont Region and Turin's Universities founded the “Piedmont Consortium for Automatic Information Processing”, with the aim of supporting the reform of the Public Administration and creating a cohesive regional information system. Two years later, the Province and the Municipality of Turin also joined and the Consortium established itself in the historical base of Turin's “Poveri Vecchi”.

The 1980s. On the ICT scene

CSI worked at developing Piedmont's public ICT system, creating the first regional online network, a structure available to public and private operators, designed with universities, banking institutions, business associations and companies. It started to develop ICT services in all areas of public intervention (region, environment, employment, culture…).

It opened the City of Turin's first Data Processing Centre and, a few years later, the student offices of Turin's universities connected to CSI's computer centre via video terminals and printers to offer new services. The experimental phase of Turin's Single Booking Centre began, accessed by 7 points including hospitals and polyclinics. The Civil Defence was able to make use of a database supplied by data taken from the weather satellite operated by CSI. In the Consortium's premises, the Natural Risks Situation Room became operational, along with the weather radar, the rain gauge network, the seismographic network and the snow and avalanche service.

The 1990s. The networks

The Consortium focused its activity upon the design and management of shared networks. Cray, a supercomputer with over 300 million operations per second, installed at the CSP (Piedmont Centre for Supercomputing), entered into service.
Piedmont's cultural heritage became computerised: over 24,000 exhibits of archaeological, artistic and architectural heritage were catalogued using the Guarini application created by CSI. 

RuparPiemonte was established: the Unitary Network of the Regional Public Administration, which allowed local administrations to work together. CSI became its technical management centre in 1998. In 1999, the Torinofacile charter was presented, which offered citizens access to various online services: local maps, building regulations, urban mobility, library lending.

The 2000s. The major projects

The presence in the region and the collaboration with local bodies was strengthened thanks to the opening of sites in Alessandria, Cuneo and Novara. The “SistemaPiemonte” regional project was established, which offered: online authentication and authorisation (IRIDE), exchange of information and documentation, online services for citizens and enterprises.
In 2003, CSI organised the first annual convention of its Scientific Technical Committee, dedicated to knowledge as a common public asset. 

Participation in national and international projects allowed the Consortium to expand its scope of activities. CSI is one of 13 partners of the HOPS European project, which aims to implement a technological platform with a view to allowing European citizens to access public administration services by voice applications (landline and mobile telephones). In Piedmont, the WI-PIE project was launched, with CSI's active participation, to spread broadband throughout the whole region.

New services became available to citizens: SovraCUP enabled outpatient appointments or diagnostic examinations at Turin's local hospitals to be booked, cancelled or changed.

Today. A quality partner for innovation

In the current context, characterised by the reduction of available resources for the innovation of public bodies, CSI performs a crucial role as “consultant” for the administrations and acts as a partner capable of proposing technological solutions in step with the times, maximising the quality/price ratio.
CSI has signed a memorandum of understanding with AGID (Agency for Digital Italy) and with CONSIP (Central Purchasing Office for the Public Administration) to pool their different skills and develop joint activities between the central public administration and the local bodies. 

Thus, a fully-fledged laboratory of experiences is created to be exported into the rest of the national territory, in order to achieve the objectives set by the Agency for Digital Italy.

An important topic today is Enterprise Architecture, which facilitates the integration of different computer systems even within the same type of administrations (local hospitals, municipalities…). CSI is able to correlate the Enterprise Architectures of individual organisations, forming from them an overall “Piedmont System”, which will allow for the coherent and integrated evolution of public ICT, achieving significant overall savings.

In 2014 the Piedmont Region approved the Resolution that attributed to CSI the task of guiding the innovation of the Piedmont health system in the coming years.