He said at the government IT conference in Westminster this week that there are 55,000 people currently working in central government IT. But he said the government also collaborates with between 55,000 and 85,000 IT professionals in the private sector.
He said the IT industry must attract more people due to the skills shortage, "We have got a lot of work to do to take away the geeky IT label. To do this, I start by telling people that IT underpins every major economy in the world."
But he said the younger generation's attitude towards IT means they can take it for granted and find it unexciting.
"This generation has grown up with technology. They see it as being as exciting as electricity. I think we have a job to explain to people the value we create. We need to fix this perception and the academic qualification framework."
Suffolk said government "balances the risk" by outsourcing and relying on the global labour market. But, he said, "We have to continue to grow the capacity in the UK."