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IT AdviserEnterprise IT

IT at the heart of UK modernisation

How will the Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR) announcements affect your business?

The long-awaited swinging cuts for central and local government were announced… and there’s little doubt IT spending will take the biggest hit in the requirement to take a third out of central government funding. The deep-rooted, endemic problems with government service delivery are succinctly summed up in Sir Philip Green’s Efficiency Review published in October 2010: “It is impossible for the Civil Service to operate efficiently with the current processes in place,” he commented. Consequently, there’s every chance for huge scope for efficiency gains within central government IT.

Suppliers to government – especially the 12 large IT suppliers that channel 60% of government IT spend – have exploited those flawed processes for years. They will doubtless be fighting a relentless rearguard action to maintain their position.

Some might say, uncharacteristically, that the UK Government (at least the Cabinet Office) is showing considerable thought leadership with its thinking on cloud computing – and we have an excellent article from John Riley on P32-33 which gives a thought-provoking perspective.

The 28% cuts for local government will be a whole new ball game – very challenging for service providers and citizens alike… Local councils are already pretty lean, but undoubtedly IT will be earmarked as an area for both change and savings. The G-cloud should really help here; particularly where service solutions can be used across authorities and local government departments – an area of huge duplication at present.

It’s not all bad news though. There are few doubters of the role of technology in developing a more efficient, streamlined, service-centric, local and central government. IT is the key enabler in fighting tax evasion, with £900 million earmarked for the Inland Revenue to enable them to claw back £7 billion in lost tax revenues.
At a local level, local authorities borrowing against future business rates income will benefit the regional economies but it would have provided more stability in funding had they been permitted to borrow against the more stable future council tax income.

Above all, a private sector-led recovery will depend on further removing SMEs from taxation and reducing or removing other costs completely. It is important that the current spending cuts and efficiency measures are not presented in isolation – they need to be supplemented by further, bolder policies to remove red tape for small businesses, open book accounting on government contracts and reform on late payment. Without this continued support, job creation and the much lauded private sector-driven recovery – particularly within small and medium-sized businesses – will be severely undermined.

Here’s to a prosperous 2011.

Ian Jones
Head of Research & Content
The National Computing Centre

Download the whole issue as a PDF: ITadviser, Issue 64, Winter 2010

Industry news - Winter 2010 - 26 Nov 2010

Facebook should learn from Apple Arecent poll from security supplier Sophos took in the views of 1,000 people and revealed that more than 95% believe that Facebook should follow Apples example and security check all third-party apps running on the site. This follows a summer of discontent amongst Facebook customers, ... read more..

Transforming information management for profitability - 26 Nov 2010

business analytics Laurie Miles, head of business analytics at SAS UK, explains how understanding business user roles and mapping information access using analytics can transform data into making better business decisions. There are considerable challenges for all organisations dealing with data collection and management. But capturing information is only the beginning of ... read more..

The past, present and future of barcodes - 26 Nov 2010

technology innovation The humble technology that has become a significant part of our lives. Peter Gooding, customer applications team manager, Zebra Technologies takes a look at a technology 55 years young earlier this year. The barcode celebrated its 58th birthday on October 7. Over the years, we have grown to ... read more..

Virtualisation - make sure your extension has real foundations - 26 Nov 2010

virtualisation Robin Webster, infrastructure consultant, Centiq. While the path to virtualisation is often sought by those seeking efficiency savings and service flexibility, if not planned carefully, it can make IT management more complicated, more costly and increase risks to the business. When planning a virtualised IT environment, organisations all too ... read more..

The impact of today's complex IT infrastructure on a business - 26 Nov 2010

integrating multi vendor architectures Delivering enterprise system intelligence shouldnt limit freedom of choice. Dave Ball, Visual Network Systems, looks at the challenges of integrating multi-vendor architectures and how this approach can provide optimum solutions for business-focused application and network performance management. The last two years have seen more businesses go ... read more..

Developing a community strategy - 25 Nov 2010

collaboration technologies - strategy This is the second article in a series exploring social and collaboration technologies and their emergence in the corporate environment. Too often technology leads the decision-making process. Nowhere is this more evident than in the burgeoning social software market. While not nearly as rampant as it ... read more..

At the centre - Winter 2010/2011 - 25 Nov 2010

Need independent, impartial, expert and trusted advice? Ask for a National Computing Centre consultant The National Computing Centre is well known for its membership services and, more recently, the popular IT Department Accreditation scheme. However, we also offer management consultancy and associated services too. So if you are looking for ... read more..

What defines a successful supply chain management implementation? - 25 Nov 2010

supply chain management During the 90s, companies raced to implement enterprise resource planning (ERP) and supply chain management (SCM) software only to see disappointing results or executive management question whether a positive ROI was ever achieved... Chris Maynard explores how far we have moved on in the last 15 years. ... read more..

Losing your inhibitions: overcoming the cloud's limitations - 25 Nov 2010

cloud computing Why are businesses resisting the leap into cloud computing? David Ebsworth shares his thoughts on overcoming the key business inhibitors. Every business is exploring why they should be implementing a cloud computing strategy. The industry tells us the reasons every day. Often the first flag flown is expenditure; ... read more..

Revolutionising the sports book - IT innovation at William Hill - 25 Nov 2010

IT innovation Over the past year, William Hill has revolutionised its online sports book by automating the pricing of sports markets, allowing it to release more markets on more games than any of its traditional competitors. If you go on to the William Hill website and look at prices for ... read more..

Innovation... can you afford not to? - 25 Nov 2010

innovation Innovation may have moved down the priority list for many organisations, with cost-cutting initiatives taking centre stage. But, by ignoring innovation, not only do organisations run the risk of being late off the starting blocks when their competitors start to refocus back on growth, but they also risk not ... read more..

Web applications: a deployment master class - 25 Nov 2010

web applications Assessing the quality of application development for the web is often a matter of rigorous testing prior to deployment. While much is written about how pre-deployment testing helps avoid unpleasant surprises, less thought is given to potential challenges when applications face the onslaught of real users. For that ... read more..

The cloud: a new golden age for innovation or a mirage? - 25 Nov 2010

cloud innovationThe consumer world paves the way to step change in service delivery, a UK perspective from Erudine CEO Martin Rice and Strategic Adviser John Riley.The structure of the consumer marketplace is rapidly transforming and demanding new ways of delivering services. We see this all around us, with our iPads, ... read more..

Don't let data backup get your back up - 25 Nov 2010

disaster recoveryDave Beesley, managing director at Network Defence, explains how implementing an easier, safer and more efficient data backup and disaster recovery solution will help businesses avoid unnecessary data loss and the risk of litigation, saving them time and money.Data backup it can be time consuming and costly; making ... read more..



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