Business Focus is a regular column providing at-a-glance statistics and commentary on spending priorities and trends in particular sectors. This week we look at inland transport.
The government defines inland public transport organisations as those without sea or air services.
Perhaps surprisingly, inland public transport companies spend more on IT per desktop than any other companies in this industry.
Large enterprises in the sector spend well beyond the UK cross-industry average of £8,455. At £13,204 per desktop, costs outstrip even the £10,071 spent by their sea and air transport counterparts.
Big changes in inland public transport requirements underpin this high level of investment, with the UK's public transport system continuing to creak under the strain of historical under-investment.
Although privatisation has improved some services, operational efficiency remains a major consideration for many inland transportation companies still running ageing legacy and bespoke IT systems. And cost is still a big issue for many, though IT renewal and consolidation strategies are helping to reduce operating costs.
International public transport company FirstGroup is one firm in the sector in the midst of a five-year transformation project.
FirstGroup chief information officer Darin Brumby said he expects savings of £5m in the current financial year, following a platform consolidation programme and other related IT-enabled projects. In May, the group began the process of consolidating 191 IT systems down to fewer than 40.
The publication of a government-sponsored report by Rod Eddington on UK transport's role in sustaining the nation's productivity is also likely to push IT spending across the board.
The analysis is based on Computer Weekly's database of more than 60,000 IT budget holders, twice yearly user IT expenditure surveys, CBI/Kew senior executive surveys, government surveys, government demographic data, HM Treasury economic forecasts and Cambridge Econometrics industry sector forecasts.
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