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Council IT managers "disappointed" at Government ICT plans

Microscope contributor
By Tony Collins

Council IT managers say they are disappointed with the Government's ICT strategy because its emphasis is on cutting technology costs, not using IT to achieve organisational savings and improve services to the public.

SOCITM, the society for IT managers in the public sector, gives its views on the Government ICT Strategy in a document published on Friday. It's a formal response to the Government ICT Strategy which was published last month.

The emphasis in the government IT strategy is on making savings through a single telecomms network, a " G-Cloud" government cloud initiative, rationalising data centres, a G-AS Government applications store, shared services and common designs for desk services.

SOCITM welcomes these and other schemes which are driven by the Government's CIO Council. But it says it is "disappointing that the Strategy fails to discuss or demonstrate the wider opportunity for reducing cost and improving all public services through the application of ICT".

It adds: "We are concerned that the Strategy almost single-mindedly focuses on technology and how it can be delivered at substantially reduced cost . . . Greater emphasis should be given, in our view, to the deployment of ICT to transform public services and to realise savings and benefits in these areas; these savings will tend not to accrue to the ICT budget".

SOCITM's criticism hits a raw nerve for central government CIOs whose ability to effect organisational change is limited. Some local government IT managers may have more freedom than Government CIOs to initiate changes in business processes.

This story first appeared on www.computerweekly.com
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