Linux is an example of how outsourcers could cut government costs

The debate for and against IT outsourcing in the public sector has livened up as a result of government plans to cut costs.

Those that argue in favour of more outsourcing might say that the private sector can introduce efficiencies and deliver at a lower cost. Whereas those against it might say it would be better to use the skills and experience already within the public sector.

I was wondering if the real benefit of using service providers is their skills with a wider variety of technologies. Service providers are constantly investing in technology research and train staff and recruit new ones to meet a customers needs. Public sector organisations can’t do this easily.

For instance we all know that Linux can offer significant savings compared to using Microsoft software for example. There are no license fees just maintenance costs.

But public sector IT departments might not have the confidence to shift to Linux. They cannot easily recruit new staff with the necessary skills.

Service providers however will recruit the skills for projects and will develop whatever technology the client wants.

There must be examples other than Linux?

Capgemini’s work on the government cloud computing strategy is a good example.

How can the public sector keep its IT staff up to date with changing trends. Is the answer having them work for service providers?