Intellect, the IT industry association, has welcomed the government's promise in its updated IT strategy of involving more suppliers.

The Government ICT Strategic Implementation Plan (SIP) was revealed by cabinet office minister Francis Maude.

The government insists it will save £1.4 billion on IT costs within four years, and improve the quality of online services. Some of the savings are expected to come from better procurement, a move to cloud computing, data centre consolidation, and the public sector network (PSN).

It also said it will create a "fairer, open and competitive government ICT marketplace that removes barriers to SME participation and supports innovative and agile ICT solutions".

At the end of the month, the government will issue more specific strategies for end user devices, cloud computing, IT capability and green technology.

Sureyya Cansoy, director of public sector at Intellect, said: "The ICT industry particularly welcomes the commitment to creating a competitive market for government ICT, which will enable companies of all sizes to bring exciting and innovative solutions to the table."The industry also welcomed a commitment from the government to take a more standardised approach to IT systems and buying, she said.