Foreign and Commonwealth Office to cut IT costs 40% by 2015

The replacement of IT contracts at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office will cut costs by up to 40% by 2015, the department has said in its ICT strategy.

The replacement of IT contracts at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office will cut costs by up to 40% by 2015, the department has said in its ICT strategy.

The savings will be made primarily through the deployment of its telephony and wide area network services Echo, a 10 year-old contract now to be delivered through Cable and Wireless; and the replacement of contracts for its core IT platform Firecrest and enterprise resource planning programme Prism.

In line with government targets for sustainability, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) said it will reduce the carbon footprint of its IT operations by at least 25% by 2015 (compared to 2009/10).

FCO CIO David Meyer said: "Staff in UK and in more than two hundred FCO offices around the world will be linked by better telephony, videoconferencing and secure computer systems," he said.

"By making these services less complicated and more integrated they'll be cheaper; they'll reduce our carbon footprint significantly; and they'll be more accessible to staff with disabilities. What I'm seeking is for all our staff to be able to focus on the information, not the IT."

The FCO also laid out plans to provide an alternatives to e-mail, including deploying Instant Messaging.

However, the department said experience on the pilot sites for Echo are likely to delay the start of the first roll-out, by a few weeks.

In the meantime, Echo remains on track to deliver the substantial savings it promised, the FCO added.

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