The Strategic Implementation Plan (SIP) was launched by the Minister for the Cabinet Office and Paymaster General Francis Maude on 21 October 2011. It sets out how the 'vision' detailed in the Government's ICT Strategy will be achieved and by when.

The SIP states the planned IT infrastructure changes are expected to achieve savings of more than £460 million per year by 2014/15. This figure is then subdivided to show the contribution expected from each aspect of the strategy (i.e. data centres, end user devices, ICT moratorium etc).

Throughout the plan it is clear the first priority is to deliver savings to central government departments and their agencies/arms length bodies. The common infrastructure, standards and accompanying solutions and expertise will then be opened up to the wider public sector.

Key project milestones

The SIP also details a number of project milestones and the accountability for achieving them. For example:

  • The Government Applications Store is to be in place by March 2012, allowing the implementation of cloud-based applications, or 'apps', across the public sector.
  • 50 accredited products are to be available through the store by December 2012.
  • 80% of the contract value of government telecommunications is to be Public Service Network (PSN) compliant by March 2014.
  • 50% of central government's new ICT spend is to be in public cloud computing by December 2015.
  • The cost of data centres is to be reduced by 35% from a 2011 baseline by October 2016.

Other notable points revealed by the SIP include:

  • An indication that guidance on the presumption against government ICT projects valued at more than £100 million has been drafted and is due to be published imminently.
  • The new Government Procurement Service (GPS) is currently drawing up a memorandum of understanding with government departments to achieve a commitment to cost reductions in excess of 25% by the end of March 2013. This target relates to all spend on common goods and services, including ICT.

Of course, the SIP only sets out targets for the implementation of the ICT Strategy - it remains to be seen whether the milestones are actually met, as some of them seem very tight. The Government itself acknowledges some of the challenges; most notably highlighting the following three risks:

  • The supplier market is slow to adapt to the new ICT landscape.
  • Dependencies between SRO responsibilities across the strategy could delay progress if the dependencies are not identified and dealt with in a timely manner.
  • Existing contract arrangements may prevent/delay implementation of key components.

But the Government has committed to total transparency; pledging to publish six-monthly performance dashboard reports, in line with publication of departmental quarterly data summaries (QDS).