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Government 'struggling' to enact IT strategy

Whitehall has made some progress but is now in the complex phase

The government is struggling to realise its IT strategy, according to an in-depth analysis by TechMarketView.

While it has increased centralised control, simplified procurement and generally ended the creation of large IT projects, the government is having difficulty moving to the next phase of change, the analyst house said.

Whitehall still needs to agree IT and data standards, according to the report, as well as to cut data centres and remove the stifling bureaucracy around existing IT projects.

"We question whether the government has the capacity to accelerate the implementation of the ICT strategy into the all-important transformational phase," said TechMarketView director Georgina O'Toole. "CIOs continue to work against the backdrop of a relatively unchanging political landscape where political, cultural, legal and economic barriers to change remain."

O'Toole said red tape was a continuing problem, and "the nature of politics" meant that "short-termism often dictates".

There had been a significant positive change, however, in the emphasis of the G-Cloud programme, she said, with a focus on better procurement rather than simply buying the latest systems. "A sense of pragmatism seems to be finally entering the Cabinet Office Team's thinking," she said.

She added that it was possible "to deliver a cloud commercial model from legacy IT - indeed suppliers have been doing this for years through financial engineering".

TechMarketView said that with the IT reforms enacted so far, public sector expenditure on software and services fell 5.5 percent last year to £11.5 billion.

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