back to article Whitehall hopes to shave 'conservative' £100m off PC bill

The government expects to cut at least £100m off its annual personal computing bill under an HMRC led standardisation program. The savings are expected in procurement, services and management, as departments eliminate waste, duplication and overspend, HM Revenue and Customs' Nigel Green told the Government ICT Conference in …

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Facepalm

Open source?

Stop spending horrendous amounts of cash on mostly unnecessary Microsoft software. Adopt open document format. Stop taking advice from people who are taking massive backhanders from companies like MIcrosoft or those who are too lazy to find better solutions. Don't go to the same supplier year in year out for the same kit irrespective of the cost. Create a group focused on innovative use of technology but don't fill it full of people who have no understanding of IT or tech types who are too blinkered to see past their own Microsoft certifications. Etc, etc etc.... Not hard really.

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Silver badge

They were heading down that route...

...until MS told them not to. It's the same on the EU, they simply reneged on their "open standards" promises.

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Anonymous Coward

Not sure why these are so expensive

given that they only replace them every 3-5 years, and you can pickup a suitable laptop for £500 from pcworld.

Maybe they should consider getting out of those big contracts and buying from the smaller providers!

They are also probably re-paying for copies of windows and office that are pre-installed, which they have a covering license for already.

silly silly government types!

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Meh

Remember what your £500 laptop from PC World comes with...

... No support (you pay for their 'geek squad').

... No applications beyond what's on there (you pay for extra).

... No 24h replacement (sorry, did you want extended warranty?)

With most government departments, the costs of supporting that piece of hardware are included in the eventual cost of the device.

Not that I think it should be that expensive, but then again, this *is* the British government with its love for consultants and contractors, after all. :-)

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Stop

Nope - £500 is not enuff...

Sadly, by the time I load all the required software, including security, a suitable laptop (tough enough, light enough, etc. as defined by Gov procurement I hasten to add - although I agree with current choices) is north of £600 before MS costs are added. Of course you *have* to buy with them with an MS license, which I then have to throw away under the terms of my enterprise agreement... sigh.

At least we sweat ours. Some folks still replace every 3/4/5 years automatically: we run things until they die in service, or fail during upgrade (hello Win7 - looking at you).

That said - an average cost of 666 is is only interesting because we don't know what the figure includes? Deployment? Software? Build? Disposal? It's either good value, or just not great depending on the answers!

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So, we can save £100M huh.... but only if you pay me £110M for my consultancy services :P

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Silver badge

Isn't this what the GCAT framework(s) were about ? Big call-off contracts, setup by central government to reduce the cost of buying IT by leveraging the size of the UK Public Sector to drive down costs.

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Facepalm

You would be shocked...

I buy as close to 100% off frameworks as possible - for a start it's MUCH faster!

I've seen several equivalent or smaller Gov orgs that didn't know about frameworks, let alone use them.

I spread light where possible.

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Gold badge
Unhappy

Your data in *whose* hands?

I truly wonder why *every* desktop needs a full fat Office installation.

Meanwhile some folk at UK BA are talking about 30 minutes to log in.

I suspect we will will see the costs (or rather the cost overruns) *long* before we see the savings.

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Thumb Down

Simple...

Install Office and have it run, quickly, regardless of LAN / WAN or other connectivity/traffic...

Cloud it and suffer whenever things change. And because everthing changed for everone, at that time the LAN, WAN and Internet pipe will already be stuffed beyond capacity.

That completely ignores the economics of Office365 which I had to research last year... and ran screaming.

Not sure how it is for other IT managers, but my LANs, WAN and Internet links are the most expensive parts of my infrastructure, and are all, always, teetering on the ragged edge of their capacity as more and more systems and services are "cloud", "on-line", "browser enabled" and "Web service" based.

Does "the business" understand what is proposed?

Thought not.

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Evaporation and g-clouds

£100m is nothing in comparison what it'll cost to develop a "standard" - that's what "standardisation" implies.

As for g-clouds, the data loss from those CDs will pale into insignificance.....

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FAIL

I thought...

the last Government had an IT standards and procurement service that saved millions.

It was closed on day one of the new coalition government to save millions. They said it each department could find better, cheaper options.

Then the coalition had to tell all public sector departments to stop writing open checks to Microsoft as it was costing millions.

Now the coalition is looking into an IT standards and procurement service to save millions.

F***ing muppets.

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Silver badge
FAIL

Actually, it's worse.

The government used to have a very effective 'central consultancy' which provided all kinds of help, direction and support to government computing.

It was called 'The Central Computer and Telecommunication Agency' - CCTA for short.

It was closed down by a concerted lobbying effort by the computer industry in 2000. Ever since then, government computing has been fragmented, expensive and in collapse, as the industry vultures get rich on the corpse.

Interestingly, CCTA also ran the first IT Security service for the UK government, predating Carnegie Mellon's CERT. That was closed down and taken over by the UK Security Service, who had run out of work when the Russian thread diminished after 1990.....

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Unhappy

@Dodgy Geezer

"It was called 'The Central Computer and Telecommunication Agency' - CCTA for short.

It was closed down by a concerted lobbying effort by the computer industry in 2000. Ever since then, government computing has been fragmented, expensive and in collapse, as the industry vultures get rich on the corpse."

Which neatly proves the old adage "In govt you must just be useful, but *seen* to be useful (by the right people)".

Preferably with a full backup cost/benefit analysis.

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Megaphone

There is...

It's called Buying Solutions (at least I don't think the name has changed in the last year).

Very useful they are too!

Loads of framework contracts for just about everything ICT types could want (and way more too).

Just avoid the SPRINT 2 framework like the palgue unless you've already got comparative quotes!

There is a Scottish version too - Procurement Scotland - with a slightly narrower remit.

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Silver badge
WTF?

@John Smith

"...Which neatly proves the old adage "In govt you must just be useful, but *seen* to be useful (by the right people)".

Actually, the problem was that it was seen as very useful, but by the WRONG people.

The IT industry knew there were rich pickings in government contracts, and saw CCTA as standing in the way.

The Security Service (and GCHQ) saw that IT Security would be an expanding job function that they could take over if CCTA were out of the way.

It's NOT a good idea to be successful and useful in government. Too many people want a slice of the cake. One of the arguments used against CCTA was that, if British Industry took over, it could make profits from providing departmental computing, and those profits were being denied it by government insistence on using taxpayer's money to provide this service instead!

What you need to be is important, but not in a field that anyone would want to take over. Tax inspectors and sewage workers come to mind...

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Paris Hilton

What a fucking scam the Gubmnt buying PC's is!

Take a currently £500 PC.

Add fucktard consultant £3,000

Add scumbag consulting overhead costs £10,000

WTF -- that PC use cost £13,500

Divide by 5 years depreciation, so £2,700 / year

Little wonder why the fucktard consulting companies are sucking us dry like a hooker in Amsterdam!

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