Tag Archives: Siemens

Are your IT projects ‘drivers’ or ‘supporters’?

By David Bicknell

An article by Art Langer in the Wall St Journal argues that IT projects are either ‘drivers’ or ‘supporters’.

Drivers are those projects and activities that affect the relationship with an organisation’s clients i.e. projects that drive revenue directly or indirectly. Supporters, on the other hand, are those everyday activities that are more operational in nature.

Langer cites the work that Dana Deasy has done firstly at Siemens  and more recently at BP.

He writes: “We all know that executives are more interested in implementing technologies to drive the business, than they are in using cutting-edge technology for its own sake. For Deasy, the biggest challenge was mostly building internal consensus about  how the technology would help  customers–and how Siemens could be more competitive in the marketplace.

“Deasy also had to show his executives that the evaluation of investments in these projects would be different than evaluations of other kinds of IT work. With e-business, the market reaction to different product and service offerings can be less certain.

“So Deasy established the concept of “revalidation.” Approved technology projects were reviewed every 90 days to determine whether they were indeed providing the planned outcomes, whether new outcomes needed to be established, or whether the technology was no longer useful.

“Siemens was moving from a traditional process of analyse-develop-deliver to a new process of sensing what a customer might want, and then responding to it more dynamically.”

Langer concludes by saying that, “The idea that all IT projects must succeed is outdated and unrealistic in true “driver” initiatives. CIOs must learn from Deasy’s lesson: If you are engaging in true “driver” initiatives, you cannot evaluate them on the “supporter” method of simple success rates.”

Interesting piece – worth a read.

How to Develop and Evaluate Strategic IT Projects

MP responds to our campaign on £265m extra spend on Siemens passport IT contract

By Tony Collins

Richard Bacon, a Conservative MP on the Public Accounts Committee, has written to the head of the National Audit Office to ask that he consider an inquiry into £265m of extra payments to Siemens on a passport IT contract.

It comes after the Home Office declined to explain why a contract with Siemens that was expected to cost £80m to £100m ended up costing £265m.

On Monday this week Home Office spokesman Andrew Bell politely declined to answer any of Campaign4Change’s questions on the Siemens contract.

As a result we forwarded to Bacon emails of our questions to the Home Office and its answers.    

Now Bacon has written to Amyas Morse, head of the National Audit Office, drawing his attention to our email exchange with the Home Office.

Says Bacon in his note to Morse:

“I wondered if the NAO might consider looking at the Siemens contract for the IT infrastructure for the passport service?  The Home Office appears to see relatively little need to justify the fact that an £80-100 million contract with Siemens actually cost £365 million.”

Bacon also pointed out to Morse that CSC has replaced Siemens on the passport IT contract. CSC is a main supplier on the NHS National Programme for IT, NPfIT.  In a report due to be published shortly by the Public Accounts Committee, CSC’s work on the NPfIT is likely to be heavily criticised.

Unless the NAO investigates the passport contracts Parliament will have no certain way of knowing whether the CSC passport IT contract, like the Siemens deal, is deviating from the original expected costs, scope or timetable.

Officials are keeping Gateway reviews secret – though these could give MPs an insight into progress of the CSC passport contract.  

My questions to the Home Office, and its reply, are here.