Government unveils action plan for IT strategy

The UK’s Cabinet Office has published the implementation plan for the IT strategy it published earlier this year, which it says will save the government £1.4 billion over the next 4 years.

The plan details delivery targets, risk factors and the accountability structure for the strategy’s key themes: reducing waste and project failure; creating a common ICT infrastructure for the public sector and using ICT to enact change.

These themes are divided into 19 "delivery areas", each with its own targets, risk factors and senior responsible officer (SRO).

One example is the adoption of Agile project management capabilities. The plan lays out key milestones, such as the introduction of cultural training, which began last month September 2011.

It describes risk factors and how to mitigate them – for example, the risk of "a lack of consistent support" for Agile will be addressed by introducing measures that include adopting "change management personnel undertak[ing] one day Agile awareness sessions".

The plan allocates responsibility for the success the objective for senior executives – in Agile’s case, Kenny Robertson, corporate and shared services IT director for the Department of Work and Pensions.

And it lays out targets for each objective. For example, "Agile techniques will be used in 50% of major ICT-enabled programmes by April 2013," and ‘by 2014, Agile will reduce the average departmental ICT enabled change delivery timescales by 20%."

Other objectives laid out in this way include the move to cloud computing, improving IT skills in the public sector, establishing technical standards and green IT.

The implementation plan also includes some details of the government’s IT savings so far. For example, the government cut £300 million from IT spending between May 2010 and March 2011. It estimates that central government spending was £6.5 billion last year, and the implementation plan is expected to cut a further £460 million annually.

More detail on the government’s end-user device, cloud computing, IT capability and green IT strategies is due later this month.

SME tender

One component of the implementation plan that has already taken place is the development of an "asset and services knowledgebase" across the public sector "to improve the sharing and re-use of ICT services and solutions".

The plan points out that the contract to provide this knowledgebase was granted to an SME (small and medium-sized enterprise), in accorance with the objective to remove the barriers to SMEs winning government IT procuremnt contracts. 

The company in question is Leeds-headquartered CDS, which employs around 200 people. CDS told Information Age this morning that it is reluctant to talk about the project, as the contract win in August 2011 garnered negative publicity because it is not based on open source software.

The tender document for the knowledgebase that was published on the Cabinet Office’s Contracts Finder website in July 2011 reveals the data model that the government uses to describe its IT assets (.PDF)

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Ben Rossi

Ben was Vitesse Media's editorial director, leading content creation and editorial strategy across all Vitesse products, including its market-leading B2B and consumer magazines, websites, research and...

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