Think tank calls for gov IT commoditisation
Big savings from little projects
The Network for the Post Bureaucratic Age has published a paper urging the government to break down its IT projects into smaller chunks.
Titled Better for Less, it says that many processes in government could be commoditised. Combined with breaking IT projects into smaller chunks and the adoption of open standards, this could provide large-scale savings.
The paper describes a framework named the Innovate-Leverage-Commoditise (ILC) model, the thrust of which is to deconstruct complex services into component parts and isolate the commodity and non-commodity elements. It combines a technical platform with a commercial model in an attempt to give government the upper hand in its dealings with suppliers.
This involves three elements: sponsoring innovation at local level; promoting the re-use of code, applications and business functions across government; and building a commercial framework for a commodity central service.
Among the measures recommended are the creation of a Commoditise Group, which would operate centrally and deal with suppliers in carving out standardised, modular, low risk and low margin services.
Contracts would be broken down into smaller chunks, all placed on the open market, and once let would be managed, with an emphasis on "as commodities", by a Common Services IT Group.
One of the paper's authors, Liam Maxwell, told GC News: "We want to provide a framework for government to look at the situation and identify ways of delivering better services for less," he says. "It's really obvious that way too much money is spent on IT in government, and the current government knows it.
"Most of what we do in our daily work is a commodity, and if you focus on the commodity you will be able to strip out costs and do the service part better."
This article was originally published at Kable.
Kable's GC weekly is a free email newsletter covering the latest news and analysis of public sector technology. To register click here.