Industry urges government to clarify IT reform agenda

The industry has broadly backed the Cabinet Office Structural Reform Plan but feels greater clarity of some seemingly contradictory policies is needed, according to TechMarketView (TMV). The government report last month set out a series of pledges to cut public sector spending with a specific focus

The industry has broadly backed the Cabinet Office Structural Reform Plan but feels greater clarity of some seemingly contradictory policies is needed, according to TechMarketView (TMV).

The government report last month set out a series of pledges to cut public sector spending with a specific focus on IT, including overhauling procurement, detail the development of projects over £1m and identify those to be cut.

The analyst surveyed 19 "key" IT industry players, 82% of which supported the government's efforts, said TMV research director Georgina O'Toole.

"Whilst the results of this survey demonstrate that the ICT industry is largely in agreement with the government's policies on IT reform and spending, some policy areas are seen as contradictory or unclear," she said.

These include the plan to outsource on a wider scale while at the same time limiting the size of contracts which impacts economies of scale, decentralising power while imposing a common standard which SMEs may struggle to meet and reducing the use of consultants while making radical changes that require specific expertise.

"The government must go further to clarify their position before the key ICT suppliers will fully rubber stamp these proposals, especially on topics such as contract size limit [or] open source software," O'Toole added.

The requisite changes to reform IT is to mandate processes; the use of central framework agreements, the coalition's creation of a skunkworks - a loosely structured R&D team - and changing the machinery of government.

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