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UK government rolling out CYOD to 2,000 civil servants

The UK government is pushing a new CYOD (choose your own device) program to 2,000 civil servants in the Cabinet Office, Department of Culture, Media and Sport and the Crown Commercial Service, removing old and expensive technology contracts.

Apple, Dell and Lenovo will be offering a selection of laptops for work, including the 11-inch and 13-inch MacBook Airs, the Dell XPS 13 and Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga S1 or ThinkPad X1 Carbon.

It follows a small 250 civil servant trial in June last year, which showed the benefits of having consumer products with additional security services, instead of building a custom product for the government.

"We have installed secure Wi-Fi and allowed users to choose their own devices and collaborate on documents," Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude said. "We're expecting this to deliver a minimum of 40 per cent cost savings on IT across government."

Maude is also hoping for all large scale technology controls to be removed by 2020, in favor of these smaller and flexible CYOD contracts with various large technology companies.

The move towards Google apps has also lowered overall costs on services, allowing government workers to collaborate on Drive, Docs and Gmail, instead of hiring a team to create workplace services.

"We are building up the capacity to develop and manage our own services for ourselves," he said. "That means we can change things quickly if we need to and won't have to wait another five years or more before we can make significant improvements."

It is not clear if the CYOD program will move to all departments in the government. It seems some departments are still unsure on the safety of the new products and services.

David has been a technology journalist for over six years, covering a wide range of sectors. He currently researches apps, app sectors and app markets for Business of Apps, and has written for ITProPortal, RTInsights, ReadWrite, and Digital Trends.