Suffolk outlines government IT plans for 2008

John Suffolk, CIO at the Cabinet Office, outlined the government's strategic plans for IT under the Transformational Agenda over the next year and beyond at a Westminster conference last week.

John Suffolk, CIO at the Cabinet Office, outlined the government's strategic plans for IT under the Transformational Agenda over the next year and beyond at a Westminster conference last week.

He said the Comprehensive Spending Review 2007 has focused the government even more on pushing through the Transformational Agenda. He said, "The Comprehensive Spending Review 2007 does give us a new platform of service improvements, and that is what we will be focusing on in the next few years."

He also outlined the government's Flex plan to make departments greener through IT.

"We are looking at every department with experts to work out what looks good in terms of green. We have spoken to a lot of people. The measures taken do not have to be big and exciting. It can mean just getting the security guard to go round in the evening, switching off any computers that are left on.

"We have five and a half million public servants, so if we save £100 per device per year, that is a lot of money.

Suffolk said that the average amount spent on each device per year is between £1,800 and £2,100, and said this needed to be brought down.

The government has recently created a fast-track IT lane, similar to the other fast-track career programmes running at the civil service.

Suffolk said, "We are looking for new blood. Historically the government has not had an IT fast lane, so we created one."

IT chiefs in the civil service are also working on building a competency framework based on SFIA, and is collaborating with E-skills and the BCS "to make sure the models are completely right".

He said the Cabinet office is interested in helping to bring about a recognised IT profession. "Often people have not spoken about IT as a profession - we are looking at how you bring this community together.

"IT is the life blood of any successful organisation. The growing use of IT is an important factor in raising people's aspirations."




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