In the Spending Review, George Osborne unveiled his plans to cut £11.5 billion in 2015/16, with many central government departments facing significant budget cuts – some as much as 10%. It’s clear that the age of austerity is still far from behind us! While the Chancellor painted a bleak picture, let’s not overlook the fact that IT reforms are just some of the measures that have already contributed to around £5 billion of savings.
Technology played a key role throughout the spending review in two main ways: reducing costs and driving innovation. Central government and the NHS in particular were called out in the Spending Round 2013 as key areas where improved use of technology and better procurement would contribute to significant savings. For central government, it’s estimated that approximately £1 billion will be saved via the “purchase of common goods and services through the government Procurement Service, negotiating better deals with suppliers and making better use of IT.”
For me, such huge savings will not just come from better negotiations or even better use of IT, a complete step change in the way government approaches IT. For too long, public sector organisations have reverted to what they know and selected services via large integrators and suppliers.