The government has signed off the final version of its IT strategy and isawaiting ministerial approval, as it gears up to cut IT costs across Whitehall.
Government CIO John Suffolk said the final strategy document is "notfar away".
The programme is expected to highlight£500m in annual savings, which include a 5% cut in spending on IT staff peryear from 2010.
A draft version of the strategy was accidentally put online in November. It setsout the direction for government IT until 2020.
Suffolk saidthe final version will contain much that was in the draft - an acknowledgementthat cost cutting will dominate public sector IT departments in coming years.
The strategy will emphasise cloud computing, open source, rationalisation ofdatacentres and plans for a government equivalent of Apple's App Store.
Suffolk saidG-cloud - the government's cloud computing strategy - is in its design phase.It will cut costs by enabling organisations to share resources. "Just asyou would not expect people to generate their own electricity, IT is becoming autility," he said.
100 people are working on G-cloud from around the IT industry. They arehelping the government get to grips with where cloud computing fits intogovernment strategy, he said.
The government wants to create an app store so that government organisationscan share applications. "One of the problems we have is that we do notknow what other people have done. The app store gives a window to see whateverybody has done," said Suffolk.
He said shared applications might already have contractual agreements inplace which will make the procurement process easier for other governmentbodies. "It also lowers cost because buyers do not have to spend a lot oftime researching.
Cost reductions took centre stage in Socitm's annual IT Trends survey, whichlooks at IT strategies in local government.
It reported an 11% fall in IT spending in 2009 compared to 2008.
John Searle, the report's author, said IT spending in local government willfall regardless of which party wins the general election.
This story first appeared in Computerweekly