Posted by: Tony Shannon | March 31, 2011

Less Waste, More Reuse, More Agile

For the second time in just over a year, the UK Cabinet Office has released an ICT strategy. That can be easily explained by the change in political administration that took place in the UK May 2010.
What is interesting to see is the overlap in the approach recommended in each.

Last years strategy from the Labour administration in January 2010 was entitled “Smarter, Cheaper, Greener” and contained an “Open Source, Open Standards and Reuse Strategy”.
The latest strategy, dated March 2011, from the current Coalition administration also makes some firm and related statements..

Some key excerpts;

“Government information and communications technology (ICT) has a really bad name. ..The Coalition Government is determined to do things better.

Government ICT is vital for the delivery of efficient, cost-effective public services which are responsive to the needs of citizens and businesses. We want government ICT to be open: open to the people and organisations that use our services; and open to any provider – regardless of size.

We have identified the following challenges, many of which are interconnected:

  • projects tend to be too big, leading to greater risk and complexity, and limiting the range of suppliers who can compete
  • Departments, agencies and public bodies too rarely reuse and adapt systems which are available ‘off the shelf’ or have already been commissioned by another part of government, leading to wasteful duplication
  • systems are too rarely interoperable
  • procurement timescales are far too long and costly, squeezing out all but the biggest, usually multinational, suppliers

To address these challenges, we have done – or will do – the following:

  • .
  • create a level playing field for open source software
  • impose compulsory open standards, starting with interoperability and security
  • create a cross-public sector Applications Store”
The strategy in full is available here
You may be interested to note its push for reducing waste, sharing and reusing solutions, greater agility in projects and a firm move towards more open standards and open source in the UK public sector use of IT.
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