Spending Review: "Winter of discontent" ahead for UK IT

I am talking to a few people about their predictions for the upcoming Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR) and will be posting different perspectives from industry players here ahead of the announcements next week. 
In general – as expected – the general feeling is that the CSR is not likely to bring good news to those working in IT.
According to Michael Dean, consultant at the National Computing Centre, this is set to be the “winter of discontent” for the IT industry, both in the public and private sectors. 
“Life is going to get tougher for those in IT. With so much public cash spent on IT there will inevitably be casualties across the board – abolition and merger of quangos and cuts in Central Government will make many IT roles redundant. Add in private sector downsizing, such as this week’s loss of Lloyds IT jobs,” said Dean.
According to Dean, the repercussions of public sector cuts and the rise in VAT in January are likely to undermine private sector confidence in spending, resulting further ‘right-sizing’ and inevitable cuts across the board.
Commenting specifically on potential efficiencies around public sector IT, Dean pointed out that l ast week’s comments from the Cabinet Office’s Andy Tait just underline the scale of issues.  
Dean added that IT professionals should take note as the biggest paradigm shift in terms of resourcing will be around cloud computing.
“By the end of the Coalition’s first term, the IT landscape will have dramatically changed, with more business people procuring IT services and a significant proportion of the IT professional community working for vendors,” said Dean. 
“With so many IT professionals expected to lose their jobs and many of the G-Cloud suppliers foreign owned we would like the government to investigate how the wealth of newly available talent can be used to add value to the UK economy,” he said.
“Tax breaks for technology SMEs would stimulate entrepreneurialism, and reduce the social security burden. That along with an opening up of government procurement practices to SMEs would be a positive step for the UK IT industry in these austere times.”
What are your views on the likely impact of the upcoming Comprehensive Spending Review on the IT industry? Share your views by adding a comment below or join the CW500 Club community on LinkedIn.

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