Government Outlines More Efficient ICT Strategy

Cabinet office minister Francis Maude explained in a statement on Wednesday about the failure of monolithic IT projects, and government strategy to improve efficiency involving cloud computing and open-source IT.

Around £16bn was spent on IT between 2008 and 2009 by the labour government. A series of measures are being taken by the coalition government to cut costs and reduce the size of its IT projects.

"For too long, government has wasted vast amounts of money on ineffective and duplicate IT systems," said Maude. "We need to ensure that frontline services have the tools to do their job to deliver effective public services."

Under the government's strategy, it is aiming to become a ‘single intelligent procurer of ICT', and will develop a procurement process especially designed to make it much more easier for innovative SMEs to obtain government contracts. The government is also likely to publish guidance within six months on prerequisites for IT projects worth over £100m.

The ongoing plans for shrinking the government's IT outgoings also includes a shift towards cloud computing. Developing a desktop prototype for the cloud is one of the items on the list of plans drawn up by the government.

A cloud computing strategy is likely to be introduced somewhere within the next 6 months. In addition, the Cabinet Office has appointed Tom Loosemore, who led the consolidation of the BBC's websites, to cut the number of government websites.