Government struggling to accelerate IT strategy, says research firm

The government is struggling to implement the next stage of its IT strategy, according to the latest report from TechMarketView.

The government is struggling to implement the next stage of its IT strategy, according to the latest report from TechMarketView.

The government launched its IT strategy in March, with a strong emphasis on the use of open source. But TechMarketView, which interviewed senior public sector IT executives in the report, has expressed concerns over the pace of change.

To drive through its full IT agenda, the government will need to reach an agreement on data standards, break up current large IT deals and rationalise existing datacentres, found the UK Government ICT Strategy: progress and direction report from TechMarketView.

Georgina O'Toole (pictured), director at TechMarketView, said the pace will need to pick up if the government is to effectively implement changes.

"We question whether government has the capacity to accelerate the implementation of the ICT strategy into the all-important transformational phase. CIOs continue to work against the backdrop of a relatively unchanging political landscape where political, cultural, legal and economic barriers to change remain," she said.

However, O'Toole praised the government's change in emphasis in relation to the G-Cloud programme. "A sense of pragmatism seems to be finally entering the Cabinet Office team's thinking," she said.

The development of a cloud commercial model built on "legacy" IT is a welcome move, she said. "This realisation takes some of the emphasis away from moving UK government ICT onto the latest technology platforms. Instead, the emphasis is being placed far more on methods of procurement and the legalities involved. The Cabinet Office procurement teams are now very much at the fore."

Decline in software and IT services

In a separate report, the analyst firm found that the software and IT services (SITS) market in the public sector declined by 5.5% to £11.5bn in 2010. The central government market was the worst hit, dropping 11.2%, with a further drop of 9% expected in 2011.

"UK government remains a tough market for SITS suppliers. To grow business in this market will require careful identification of the sub-sectors holding the most potential. Suppliers will also need to maintain a good understanding of the progress made in implementing the ICT strategy," said O'Toole.

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