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SMEs should eye government legacy for future business, says Bracken

Kathleen Hall

Small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) should look to the government’s IT legacy infrastructure for future business, according to Mike Bracken, head of the Government Digital Service (GDS).

Speaking to Computer Weekly at a technology procurement event, he said: “The legacy has to be chopped up, which is an opportunity for SMEs. If I were an SME, I would be targeting the legacy infrastructure.”

The majority of government contracts are due to start expiring in the next 18 months, with most not expected to be re-let in their current form. This will create opportunities for smaller businesses in the medium term, said Bracken.

In response to a question about the way CIOs will work with the newly elevated government CTOs, under a recent IT leadership shake-up, he said: "The CIO profession has been closed down – as we think it’s wrong as we are here to reform digital services.

"There are different job titles around government. We are working with departments to refresh approaches in structure and job titles. There are multiple listed jobs in the service design manual – CIO is just one in a general suite of digital skills.”

Bracken said GDS was still working out investment plans for the G-Cloud, with the programme having recently moved under the remit of GDS. He said the first task would be to improve the Cloud Store interface, and “make it more focused on the user need”.

He said the alphas and betas on digital transactions for student loans and Rural Payments Agency are expected to be released later this year. 

The GDS's six-month digital strategy review is out next week.

 


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