Feeds

Ex-Logica boss to teach UK.gov how to identify crap IT

Foxes, henhouses, poachers

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

The government has turned to the former boss of Logica to try and it teach it how to run IT projects and jettison them as quickly as possible when it becomes apparent they have got it wrong again.

Martin Read, who was forced out of Logica last year, will carry out a review of the government’s £13bn annual IT spend as part of a general operations review already announced by the Treasury.

It seems the objectives of the review have already been set. It aims to get the government’s flagship projects to deliver the results they’re supposed to, and find further savings for the government, both in terms of the IT spend, and from the projects themselves.

This is no small task. The UK has wholeheartedly applied the latest technological thinking to the traditional business of government, developing whole new ways to waste tax payers’ cash in the process.

Whether it’s flagship projects such as the NHS NPfIT or HMRC’s tax credit system, or simply the government’s continuing inventiveness in launching websites that no-one ever visits, Whitehall has comprehensively rewritten the book on screwing up IT projects.

A spokesman for the Treasury said one key aim for Read would be looking at ways of keeping “dedicated teams on projects from start to finish”. Another is “not being afraid to abandon a project just because it’s high profile”.

Both those aims would run totally counter to the traditional government way of doing things. The very essence of politics and public sector work is to never finish a project and to get out while the going’s good. And because no-one has a start to finish view of a particular, no-one can really see how crippled it is, so the chances of anyone sticking their neck on the line and saying it should be pulled are next to zero.

Read should certainly have a handle on this – after all, Logica pulled in its share of government work while he was at the helm.

In the Treasury’s release announcing his appointment, Read said: “The private sector has made significant strides forward in this area in recent years and my work will examine the scope for the public sector to benefit from this experience, in order to deliver further efficiencies over the coming period."

Perhaps he can tap his successor at Logica for some advice. Andy Green concluded a review of the firm in April. He decided it had too many staff, and overheads were too high. He also decided the company should focus on... the UK commercial sector.

It seems Read’s brief is to think the unthinkable. Whether the government will actually do the unthinkable is quite another matter. ®

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

More from The Register

next story
'Stop dissing Google or quit': OK, I quit, says Code Club co-founder
And now a message from our sponsors: 'STFU or else'
Ex US cybersecurity czar guilty in child sex abuse website case
Health and Human Services IT security chief headed online to share vile images
Don't even THINK about copyright violation, says Indian state
Pre-emptive arrest for pirates in Karnataka
The police are WRONG: Watching YouTube videos is NOT illegal
And our man Corfield is pretty bloody cross about it
Felony charges? Harsh! Alleged Anon hackers plead guilty to misdemeanours
US judge questions harsh sentence sought by prosecutors
Oz biz regulator discovers shared servers in EPIC FACEPALM
'Not aware' that one IP can hold more than one Website
Apple tried to get a ban on Galaxy, judge said: NO, NO, NO
Judge Koh refuses Samsung ban for the third time
prev story

Whitepapers

Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up distributed data
Eliminating the redundant use of bandwidth and storage capacity and application consolidation in the modern data center.
The essential guide to IT transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIOs automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.