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The New UK Government IT Strategy – The First Glimpse

Here in the UK, the first sighting in public has emerged of the Government’s new overarching ‘UK Public Sector ICT Strategy’ due to be published next month.

The strategy has been in development over the last year by the UK Government’s CIO Council (a central co-ordinating body modelled on the Federal CIO Council) and plans to bring together all the various strands of Government IT activity – such as Green IT, open source, data security and shared services – into a coherent whole.

An early glimpse has surface of what this Public Sector ICT Strategy looks like – described by UK Government CIO John Suffolk as “the strategy on a page” – which you can view here.

A note accompanying the presentation said the new Government IT strategy ‘sets out to create a common approach to infrastructure, bound together by common standards and procurement routes’.

At the heart of the strategy sits four current workstrands seen as ‘enablers': The Government’s Open Source Software, Standards and Re-Use strategy; plans underway to rationalise Government data centres; cross-government collaboration on a ‘Common Desktop Strategy’, and finally the Public Service Network, the single global IT communications network billed as the ‘largest, most pragmatic and potentially the most influential ICT programme in UK history’.

At the centre of the strategy is the forthcoming UK Government-wide private cloud computing infrastructure, the ‘G-Cloud’, announced during the summer and apparently based on the apps.gov model.

The 14 strands of the UK Government ICT strategy being considered are:

1. The Desktop Strategy
Simplify, standardise, common models, commoditise, greater capability, lower price.

2. The Public Service Network (PSN) Strategy
Rationalise, standardise, a “network of networks”, greater capability, secure, lower price. Fixed and mobile.

3. The Data Centre Strategy
Rationalising data centres, creating the “fifth utility”, reduce cost, increase resilience, and capability.

4. Open Source, Open Standards and Re-use
Level the playing field. Greater reuse, less procurements, lower cost, greater innovation.

5. Government Cloud (G-Cloud)
The ‘fifth utility’. Rationalisation of ICT estate, greater speed to outcome, reduced cost, increased capability and security.

6. Government Application Store
Faster procurement, greater innovation, faster speed to deliver outcomes, reduced cost.

7. Green IT Strategy
Sustainable, more efficient ICT at a lower price.

8. Information Security and Assurance Strategy
Protecting data (citizen and business) from self harm and the unscrupulous.

9. Technical Standards and Enterprise Architecture
Creating the environment that enables many suppliers to work together, cooperate, interoperate in a secure seamless cost efficient way.

10. International Alignment and Compliance
Ensuring we help shape treaties and directives to ensure they fulfil the UK national requirement and then working across ICT to ensure UK delivery.

11. Delivering better projects with greater certainty of outcome
Using portfolio management and active benefits management to ensure we undertake the right projects in the correct way and realise the full value.

12. Better value and performance from all parties
Working together to ensure our we all play to their strengths, improve their weaknesses and deliver our commitments.

13. Shared services building once, using many, moving to the store
Continually moving to shared services for common activities. Moving, and growing, shared services into the Government Cloud.

14. Capable departments, capable people
To deliver what is being asked of us, improve capability, knowledge, skills and experience of those involved in ICT enabled business change.

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