Strong leadership key to making the government’s IT strategy work, say industry bodies

Strong leadership will be crucial to making the government's...

Strong leadership will be crucial to making the government's IT strategy work and breaking with the mistakes of the past, say industry bodies.

Intellect welcomed the government's plans to keep Senior Responsible Owners at the helm of projects.

John Higgins (pictured), Intellect's director general, said: "This marks a milestone in the government's reform agenda, with a fresh look at ICT as an enabler of better services for the public. The strong leadership in place at the centre ticks one crucial box."

David Clarke, CEO at the British Computer Society, agreed. "In particular we welcome two key points. Firstly, the commitment to move away from mainly very large ICT projects and, probably the most important recommendation, the move to develop an increasingly senior and skilled workforce within government to improve and fully exploit government use of ICT," he said.

But Ian Magee, senior fellow at the Institute for Government, said the government should reconsider not having an independent CIO.

"The new strategy supports our view for a far more flexible approach to IT procurement and delivery, while also ensuring the benefits of commoditisation and standardisation are captured across government," he said.

"However, to make this work we believe that it is vital that the government CIO operates independently of departmental interests and is seen to do so. This strategy will eventually demand a truly independent government CIO, which we currently do not have."

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