In March 2011 the Cabinet Office published its Government Information Communication Technology (ICT) Strategy. This outlined the Coalition Government's long-term programmes for reforming central government ICT and providing greater savings than those already achieved through the moratorium on ICT spend and negotiations with key suppliers. It also set out the strategic direction for central government ICT and listed 30 key actions to be delivered over a two year period.

Key initiatives

The key initiatives described in the ICT Strategy included:

  • The introduction of new central controls to ensure greater consistency and integration. These include the requirement that all IT spend worth more than £1 million goes through the Efficiency and Reform Group in the Cabinet Office.
  • The creation of a level playing field for open source software and increased focus on removing duplication and wastage through using common systems.
  • Streamlining procurement and specifying outcomes rather than inputs.
  • Creating a presumption against projects having a lifetime value of more than £100 million.
  • The imposition of compulsory open standards, starting with interoperability and security by creating cross-government standards on application programme interfaces and developing a quality assurance mark.
  • The creation of a comprehensive asset register.
  • Creating a cross-public sector Applications Store to encourage the sharing and re-use of ICT systems and services.
  • Introducing an expectation that senior responsible owners (SRO) should stay in post until an appropriate break in the life of a project/programme. This is designed to provide more continuity in the leadership of ICT projects.
  • Cutting the cost of data centres by 35% over five years.

But the detail of how all these actions are to be achieved is not included in the strategy documentation itself.

At the end of October, the Government finally released a detailed plan of how this strategy is to be implemented. In addition, it has produced four key 'sub-strategies' to expand on its priorities and objectives in cloud computing, 'greening' ICT, end user devices and ICT capability for the public sector.