Government expects £1.4 billion savings from IT strategy

21 October 2011

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22 October 2011 | Angeline Albert

The government expects to save £1.4 billion by transforming IT over the next four years with a plan that includes reducing the number of data centres.

The StrategicImplementation Plan (SIP), published yesterday by the Cabinet Office, explained how the government’s IT Strategy, launched in March 2011, will be achieved and contains specific delivery dates.

Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude said: “In August we announced that we had already saved the public purse £300 million by applying greater scrutiny to our ICT expenditure. And now we are going even further and [saving] even more money.”

The SIP document described data centre provision - where government servers are located - across the public sector as “hugely inefficient”, offering the potential for “significant cost savings” and carbon footprint reduction. It said average server utilisation was less than 10 per cent and government increase this and cut the number of data centres it has. Savings by reducing the number by 35 per cent could save £160 million over the next four years.

The document also said the government has drafted guidelines for buyers to help them evaluate and adopt open source software. Currently going through an internal consultation, the guidelines will be available in the new year. It added that by March 2013 all software procurement will include an evaluation of potential open source options.

A further four strategies dealing with on end user devices (such as smartphones and tablets), cloud computing, IT capability and IT sustainability will be published by the end of October.

Government Procurement has pledged to make cost reductions of 25 per cent on a common goods and services spend of £13 billion, which includes IT, by March 2013.

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