The Cabinet Office has published its ICT Strategy, setting out its strategic goals for ICT and the key actions to be delivered over the next 24 months. The strategy reflects some of the lessons learned from recent large ICT project failures within Government, as well as the ICT spending controls already implemented by the Government in 2010.

The Strategy focuses on four key areas: (i) reducing waste and project failure; (ii) creating a common ICT infrastructure; (iii) using ICT to deliver and enable change; and (iv) strengthening governance. Within each of these areas, the Government makes certain ICT commitments, including:

  • reusing and sharing ICT solutions and contracts – the Government will mandate open standards and, where appropriate, procure open source solutions in order to ensure full interoperability, as well as creating a comprehensive cross-government asset register and an online applications store to enable reuse of business applications and components across the public sector;
  • improving ICT procurement – the Government will leverage its buying power to drive down the cost of ICT procurement. It will also move away from big bang solutions delivered by large suppliers, in order to allow SMEs and new providers to compete to win Government ICT contracts;
  • shift towards cloud computing – the Government will push ahead with its agenda for data centre, network, software and asset consolidation and will publish a cloud computing strategy within the next six months; and
  • encouraging access to digital public services – in order to make it easier for citizens to access digital public services, the Government is committed to providing 21st century identity assurance methods to ensure privacy.

The Government is due to publish a strategic implementation plan in relation to the ICT Strategy in Summer 2011 which will contain further details regarding its proposed implementation of the strategy. It then remains to be seen whether Government ICT procurement will become the open and competitive marketplace that the Government appears to be aiming for.

A copy of the strategy is available here.