Good progress

May 6, 2012

It has recently been down to UK Member of Parliament Michael Dugher to try and determine the state of the G-Cloud and Greening Government IT Strategy. In an a list of questions and (sort of) answers published in Hansard that will have amused journalists by their vacuity, the Minister for the Cabinet Office, Francis Maude effectively responds by saying that all will be revealed in the near future in the annual reports. I do know that the Green IT Strategy was in preparation when I was last in conference with the Green Development Unit in March 2012, but the bigger wait is for the ICT Strategy annual report itself.

The major revelation from the questioning was that, at a cost of £4.93 Million the G-Cloud is expected to save an estimated £340 million, which is amazing! I wonder if this saving includes that from the Public Sector Network (PSN) or is it purely from the cloud? Over what period will that saving be made – five years, ten years, twenty years? However when Mr Dugher asked Mr Maude about the number of data centres government maintained in May 2010, March 2011, September 2011 and March 2012, all Mr Maude could say was that “In February 2012, Cabinet Office collected baseline information on the number of data centres maintained by Departments in order to progress commitments to consolidate and rationalise data centres to help save energy and costs in line with Government ICT Strategy. This information will be published alongside ICT Strategy annual update report, due shortly. Information on the number of data centres across Government prior to this February 2012 is not available.” However, back in May 2011 some figures were provided by Cabinet Office to the Public Administration Committee dated 30 March 2011 in a written answer stating “A survey commissioned by CIO Council during June 2010 identified 220 Data Centres across Central Government”, which I suspect was an underestimate since I clearly remember someone, possibly Andrew Stott, quoting a figure nearer 400 to the Local CIO Council a couple of  years ago.

When Michael Dugher asks the Minister for the Cabinet Office what progress he has made on the implementation of G-Cloud computing, the response is a resounding “The G-Cloud programme is making good progress”. I’m sure you’ll all be pleased to know…

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The government IT strategy awaits…

December 19, 2010

Doing some Googling for anything leaked about the long awaited (12 months or more?) government IT strategy, I fell over the fact that the Public Administration Select Committee (PASC) has launched an inquiry on the 17th December, into the way in which government develops and implements technology policy ! The PASC has issued a call for written evidence!

I suspect this means an even longer wait for the IT strategy! Looking on the Cabinet Office web site for the original IT Strategy came up with a 404 error – page not found…

Concerns increased when reading the linked “Issues & Questions Paper“, with all its talk of IT in a “post-bureaucratic age” and “age of austerity”. I’ve written a couple of posts about the nonsense of post-bureaucracy, including this one, but the adoption of such clear political dogma in an issues & questions paper about ICT strategy should generate concerns through the industry.

Coming as it does on the run-up to Christmas, and with responses expected by the 21 January 2011, there isn’t a great deal of time to think about it – but please do!