Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Government launches cut-price ICT Strategy - joined up thinking at last?

John Suffolk, Chief Information Officer, explains

Key measures the Public Sector ICT Strategy include:

  • Establishing a Government Cloud or ‘G-Cloud’. The government cloud infrastructure will enable public sector bodies to select and host ICT services from one secure shared network. Multiple services will be available from multiple suppliers on the network making it quicker and cheaper to switch suppliers and ensure systems are best suited to need.
  • Reducing of the number of data centres. Consolidating hundreds of computer data centres, which hold all the digital information for Government, to approximately 10 to 12 secure, resilient centres. This will save £300 million, lead to 75% reduction in power and cooling requirements of the centres and ensure data storage is secure, accessible and sustainable.
  • Creating a Government Applications store. The Application Store will be a marketplace for sharing and reusing online computer programmes (like standard Office applications such as word processing and email) on a pay by use basis. It will speed up procurement and deliver savings of approximately £500 million per year.
  • Implementing a common desktop strategy. A new set of common designs for desktop computers across the public sector. Historically each organisation has separately specified, built and designed its desktop computers. Creating one set of designs will lead to savings of £400 million per year.
There is a lot of common sense in these proposals. One wonders why the Government hadn't adopted an approach like this before - perhaps it takes a recession to prompt a coherent, coordinated approach from Government departments.

For more information see the Cabinet Office Website:
Radical shift in Government ICT will save £3.2 billion annually in public money

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