back to article Gov IT bods must shield their budgets from gov's knife – Socitm

A report from the public sector IT directors' group Socitm has identified four ongoing priorities for ICT managers in the wake of continuing austerity. The priorities are: protecting ICT budget share by promoting the role and achievements ICT functions; focusing on reducing total costs of ownership; reviewing insourcing versus …

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Special Pleading

I rather think this is not entirely what I would like. If there are cuts, then they must be across the board.

The idea of IT departments being maintained, whether by stealth, craft, art, or deciet, at a time when we have slashed or eliminated public libraries, day centres for the elderly and mentally impaired, meals on wheels, childcare, and domestic physiotherapy is very unpleasant.

Most IT people are youngish, resourceful, and intelligent, and frankly I'd rather throw them (us) out of work than teachers, care workers, and home attendants. We are far more likely to be able to get another job.

I can't say that the achievements of IT in the public sector have been spectacular, and if they are suddenly going to find ways of reducing TCO then I'd like to know why they could not have done so a decade ago, instead of propping up Microsoft, Capita, et.al.

There is no case whatever for special protection other than self-interest. I rather thought we had a more mature world view than that.

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Re: Special Pleading

Thing is ICT is one of the areas they could slash costs with minimum losses. In all likelyhood the government could shift a lot of their software to free or cheaper alternatives with minimum overhead, short term it'd work out the same, long term it'd save hundereds of thousands across the board.

They most likely have hundereds of licenses for office / windows which go unused and can easily be axed.

Some buildings still make use of PCs a decade old with CRT monitors (somehow) scrap these and replace them with Atom workstations, small term cost for a longterm cut in spending on energy. So long as they can defend a short term cost for a long term saving they should be fine.

How many workstations have software they don't need? There are many ways they could slash ICT costs with 0 impact if they went about it the right way. Would they be major cuts? Probably not, but it'd still be cuts in costs over the next X years which can be defended with realistic figures.

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Re: Special Pleading

Yes, there are bound to be ways to save money. Your list is full of rich pickings.

But why havn't they done that already? They have been paid to run the department, not to let it get out of control.

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Well, I'm with you

Wheelchairs before workstations, eh?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Special Pleading

It's gotten out of control because the people controlling it have been made redundant so managers have had free-rein to order new laptop, blackberry, 3G Card, remote access software, iPad - and that just to take into meets

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Anonymous Coward

Most IT workers are young? Not here mate!

As I look around the ICT department of my local borough council, the average age of the dozen or so staff here is well into the mid-late 40's.

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Anonymous Coward

ICT what ICT ?

As im the last left of the ICT department in the council i work for and as im leaving soon due to compulsory redundancy, ICT wont be driven in this council internally or externally i.e schools, as am told "this council doesn't do I.T anyone as we don't know what we are doing, that's why we have the private company (Capita) doing our I.T now, saving money has gone out the window just spend, spend, spend but save money buy cutting jobs not only in ICT but everywhere

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Anonymous Coward

Transform the organisation

The role of IT these days is to assist in the transformation of services, what's frequently forgotten is that getting from where we are now, supporting shackloads of legacy software (not through choice mind, its been a case of tail wagging the dog for years with services refusing to invest in updating/replacing legacy systems) and where we are hoping to be in 10 years.

The problem is the organisation has put the IT dept in a position where its got its future staffing levels in place, but they are stuck supporting legacy and transformation, and all the grief in between.

Oh yeah, and we'll fail because between year 1 and year 10 there will be at least 1 change in UK Government, 2 changes in local governernment, and dependant if your outside England 1 change in Local Assembly. Throw in a once every 5 years Chief Exec change, probably a head of service change or twoand your looking at no more than 1-2 years of stability before someone with a "great" idea will change the Council priorities.

And you wonder why Council IT is set up to fail, look at any successful IT based organisations (because thats who we are frequently compared with internally) and how many high level changes of staff/direction take place?

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