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Cabinet Office goes ahead with "drastic" IT transformation

The Cabinet Office has announced that it is taking extra steps towards “drastically” improving the state of IT in government Departments.

According to a blog post by Cabinet Office CTO Tom Read, the team has been listening to what users have been saying at the Civil Service Live presentations.

A "Can government IT be faster, smarter, better – and cheaper?" session has explored the changes the Cabinet Office and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) have already been making – but civil servants have been asking for “more.”

Read claims that government employees have been complaining of slow and regularly broken printers, unreliable and heavy PCs and laptops, distant and unresponsive support arrangements, poor Internet access due to “security” and out-dated mobile phones.

The CTO says that he has been listening to suggestions for improvement and changes are in the process of being made.

Such improvements include brining IT back “in-house,” cheaper and more flexible contacts, consulting users before things are purchases, investment in modern equipment, faster moving technology changes and simplification.

Changes happening now and into the future

“In the Cabinet Office and CMS we are now gearing up for go-live with our technology transformation programme,” claims Read.

“We have our first 250 users moving on to the new technology services at the end of August and the rest moving shortly after.

“We have tested the solutions extensively with users and think they’re going to love them. Less important, the new technology is substantially cheaper year-on-year than what is currently in place: things can be better and cheaper,” he adds.

The CTO also “promises” users that they are being listened to and changes are coming, following a civil servant’s concerns that promises from above are rarely kept.

Public sector-wide transformation Porthole Ad

The Cabinet Office and DCMS are not alone in charging ahead with technology transformation programmes, Departments such as Transport (DfT), Work and Pensions (DWP) and the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) are also involved in extensive projects.

The Home Office revealed last month that it intends to use G-Cloud for procurement during the tech changes it is making, while HM Treasury has revealed its ICT 2015 programme.

The wider public sector too is involved – Middlesbrough Council recently selected partners for transformation, while the Central London NHS Trust has similar digital plans.