by Richard Steel

Consolidation in Government IT

Apr 02, 20093 mins
IT Leadership

Somehow I missed this Guardian story 1 April, but it still amused.

I’d be grateful for your support by completing this short survey on digital inclusion from David Clayden on behalf of Socitm & the CCitDG.

At Thursday’s Local CIO Council, a representative of OGC Buying Solutions was present to support my update on the proposed Public Sector Microsoft Licensing deal. The proposals were fully endorsed (and by the Central CIO Council, on Friday) and its hoped to make a public announcement soon, subject to finalisation of a few legal details and completion of the sign-off process.

Simon Norbury attended to agree proposals for benchmarking, by Gartner, of Government Connect infrastructure at four sites nominated by the LCIO Council versus previous intra-Government communications arrangements.

We broke into four groups to discuss the four business driver themes developed by Jos, Glyn, Mick and I – Public Service Efficiency and the Role of IT, Information Assurance and Information Management, Partnerships & Public Service Join-up, and Government Infrastructure Programmes – and were asked to decide if these were the right drivers, what were the underlying work stream requirements, and desired outcomes.

You’ll see the results in the published minutes from the meeting but one required outcome was a CoCoCo – Common Code of Connection – which elicited suggestions of how this might become a CoCoCoCoCo – Comprehensively Co-ordinated Common Code of Connection etc, but most of the time we were very businesslike!

Roy Marshall gave an update from the DCLG, which he said has been ranked in the top quartile for IT, versus its peer group. Much of this concerned database rationalisation – not, it was stressed, for data sharing purposes, but for organisational efficiency.

A Data Interchange Hub is at the heart of planned developments. There was some discussion, also, of the Operational Efficiency Programme, and expected radical IT cost savings requirements.

Kate Silver, Cabinet Office Transformational Government Lead on the Government IT Profession, attended to discuss how we should work together.

The Government IT Profession is mandated for the Civil Service. Although the mandate doesn’t apply to the Local Public Sector, Socitm has joined “Partners in Professionalism” – the partnership of organisations involved in developing the profession, and Bernard Gudgin and Adrian Hancock have led for Socitm, to date. Rose and Kate arranged to meet to discuss how we should boost our engagement.

Andrew Stott spoke about plans to consolidate Government Data Centres, which together account for about a quarter of the Government’s £4 billion IT expenditure. Cost savings of 25-50% are thought to be realisable through consolidation, while delivering a better service.

The Group also agreed to review the recently published Government strategy on Open Source, for endorsement at our next meeting.

On Friday morning I teleconferenced with John Skinner and Chris Blenkhorn, from Cisco. Chris has produced an excellent “Connected Community Blueprint”, which Socitm would like to endorse. I had a few suggestions for a Section on building trust and describing security requirements, which Chris agreed to incorporate.

In the afternoon I attended Socitm South’s Committee Meeting, at Mole Valley DC offices in Dorking, to discuss support from the Centre, regional development, business partnerships and Socitm’s “USP”.

Perhaps the key requirement to emerge was for centrally managed liaison with the regions – particularly with a view to effective events co-ordination.

We also discussed and agreed a stimulating agenda for the branch’s next meeting on 12th June but, unfortunately, I cannot attend as they’ve gone and booked it for 12th June, when I shall be in Le Mans!