18: Francis Maude, Cabinet Office minister
As minister for the Cabinet Office, Maude has significant influence over the direction of the central government IT juggernaut. When cuts are announced, they are announced through him, with departmental CIOs probably living in fear of where his gaze will fall next. He has already delivered £1.2bn of cuts in government IT, and £1bn more is expected. He has focused on cutting consultancy fees, renegotiating contracts with big IT suppliers and reviewing hundreds of IT projects to see if they are worthy of continued funding. Despite his role overseeing government IT projects, Maude does not have a background in the industry. He is a former barrister and Conservative MP who has become a well-known name in public sector IT as the coalition government makes swathing cuts. He brought in the policy that all IT contracts worth more than £1m must have Treasury approval before they can be signed, and decided that existing projects must be reviewed. His influence will continue into the next year with more cuts
Computer Weekly has announced the first ever list of the 50 most influential people in UK IT.
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The UKtech50 is the first list of the real movers and shakers in UK IT – the CIOs, industry executives, public servants and business leaders driving the creation of a high-tech economy. Most of these types of lists in the past have looked at the IT sector globally – uniquely, we concentrated on UK-based individuals or Brits abroad, so the list is not dominated by obvious names such as Bill Gates or Steve Jobs.
The UKtech50 is produced by Computer Weekly in association with IBM.