By David Bicknell
The government has published four strategies which it says, “provide the environment and approaches to radically transform the ICT landscape to create a more productive, flexible workforce that delivers digital public services in a much more cost effective way.”
According to Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude, the four strategies “link together to fully exploit the cost opportunities arising from technology developments; and to increase the capability and capacity of Government to manage its own ICT and reduce reliance on expensive consultants and contractors.”
The strategies include cloud computing, which Maude says, “details how we will exploit cloud computing to transform the Government ICT estate into one that is agile, cost effective and sustainable. Government will adopt an approach of ‘public cloud first’ whilst recognising the requirement for secure private cloud provision in some areas.
“Government will move away from expensive, long-duration bespoke solutions to a common approach – sharing resources and infrastructure to enable us to become a consumer of widely available, ever improving mass market products and solutions. Many of these solutions will be available for reuse from the Government Application Store.”
“Through significant rationalisation of our data centre estate – moving to a commodity approach towards hosting – we will increase utilisation and efficiency, thus reducing CO2 emissions, accommodation and energy costs.”
The other strategies published include Greening Government ICT, which provides a practical approach to reducing energy costs increasing the sustainability of the ICT estate; an End-User Device strategy which the government says will redefine the way that Government departments work; and an ICT Capability strategy.
“Supporting the Civil Service Reform programme and our ability to significantly reduce our estate and associated costs, the End-user Device strategy will give public sector workers the freedom to work from any location on any suitable government or non-government device,” says Maude.
On the ICT Capability strategy, he argues that government will not be able to fully exploit the opportunities from all its strategies without ensuring that the people it employs have the right skills and techniques to manage and run them effectively. The ICT Capability strategy will use a professional framework to put in place structures and processes to increase the capability of ICT professionals at all levels and reduce expenditure on external expertise.
You can access the strategy documents here