Spending Review: IT figures make their predictions

While some are hopeful that tomorrow's Spending Review will bring opportunities for smaller suppliers, others in the IT industry are warning some of the measures expected tomorrow could throw up hurdles for IT professionals.

While some are hopeful that tomorrow's Spending Review will bring opportunities for smaller suppliers, others in the IT industry are warning some of the measures expected tomorrow could throw up hurdles for IT professionals.

Matthew Poyiadgi, vice-president at IT trade association CompTIA, said he expects the review to "place the future of IT skills on a knife edge."

With university funding cuts expected, computer science courses may attract even fewer students. While it may prompt future IT staff to find other more vocational courses, it could also turn them off a career in technology, he said.

Dylan Roberts, chief ICT officer at Leeds City Council, said the IT impact in local government of any announcements will depend on how councils approach the new environment.

"The potential of ICT to enable service reform and efficiency in government is unlimited. Chief executives should bring chief ICT officers and CIOs to the table - they are at the centre of the organisation and will have some of the answers."

Smaller suppliers are hopeful the new philosophy of avoiding large, monolithic IT projects will be good for them.

Gayna Hart, managing director of software provider Quicksilva, said: "The spending review could actually create new opportunities for some smaller businesses. In the past the 'big boys' have hogged government IT contracts, but moving forward it is likely that the Government will need to look to SMEs in order to put in place contracts that are flexible and that don't have to support large overheads before they start paying back."

Martin Rice, CEO of software company Erudine, added: "Heavy cuts are the only way of shaking up the unhealthy status quo where 12 large suppliers control 60% of central government IT spend, and hold government delivery in a straitjacket."

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