Government information and communications technology (ICT) has acquired a bad name in the light of setbacks to some high profile projects. Acknowledging this, on 30th March 2011 the Government launched a new ICT strategy aimed at addressing the challenges that face all big ICT projects in the public sector. The strategy will be of particular interest to suppliers with a public sector focus and is likely inform elements of future government procurement and contracts through, for example, the imposition of compulsory open standards for interoperability and security.

The new Government ICT strategy focuses on four key areas:

  • Reducing waste and project failure, and stimulating economic growth
  • Creating a common ICT infrastructure
  • Using ICT to enable and deliver change
  • Strengthening governance

and sets out some of the key challenges raised by large scale ICT projects and how the Government intends to address them.

The proposed solutions include a number of those highlighted by the technology trade association Intellect which has advocated:

  • the potential savings that can be achieved by consolidating data centres, moving to cloud computing and implementing a government apps store
  • the implementation of a streamlined procurement process that focuses on outcomes
  • keeping Senior Responsible Owners at the helm of projects until an "appropriate break point"

Of particular interest to entrepreneurs and SMEs is the unveiling of an Innovation Launch Pad to facilitate the pitching of business ideas aimed at providing better value-for-money in the delivery of Government's business.