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IT gets honours in New Year list

Olympic CIO Gerry Pennell and Lastminute.com co-founder Martha Lane Fox are included in this year’s New Year honours list

Olympic CIO Gerry Pennell and Lastminute.com co-founder Martha Lane Fox are included in this year’s New Year honours...

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Martha Lane Fox, who advises government on digital strategies, including the move to a single domain for government websites, has been awarded a CBE, while Gerry Pennell, who took charge of the huge IT that underpinned the 2012 London Olympics receives an OBE.

In 2010, Lane Fox completed a report that called for an overhaul of 750 separate government websites to be replaced by a single internet "front door" to public services on the web – similar to the purpose of Direct Gov.

As a result, the Government Digital Service (GDS) launched its Gov.uk website in October, intended to become a single domain for online public services to replace hundreds of departmental sites.

According to a Parliamentary answer by Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude, Directgov’s running costs were more than four times higher than that of Gov.uk, totaling £21.4m for 2011-2012.

In 2008, Gerry Pennell, who was previously CIO at Cooperative Bank, agreed to take charge of the massive IT project that underpinned the London Olympics 2012. 

Technology played a bigger role than ever before and the Olympics in London was the most connected ever. The official website became the most popular sports website in the world. It had 38.3 billion page views, peaking at 96,871 page views per second.  Some 1.2Pb of data were transferred over the website, with a peak of rate of 22.8 Gbits/s. On the busiest day there were 13.1 million unique visitors. During the Games, the Olympic network which connects 94 locations (including 34 competition venues) carried 961TB of information.

Read Computer Weekly's in-depth interview with Pennell following the Olympic Games 2012.

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