Feeds

Local councils shed CIOs as cuts bite

Opportunity for outsourcers, but pickings may be slim

Build a business case: developing custom apps

Many local councils that jettisoned CIOs or senior decision-makers in the rush to cut costs lack a coherent IT strategy, according to a panel debate by Netgear.

The Coalition last week boasted that the Efficiency and Reform Group (ERG) had saved £800m by squeezing public sector suppliers, but others further down the food chain continue to seek ways to slash budgets upwards of 33 per cent.

This is leading to a flattened management structure as CIOs who used to set IT strategy are elbowed into the jobs market, said Doug Maclean, consulting director at the Society of IT Managers.

"There are fewer councils now who've got anyone who approaches the role of the CIO," he said. "In many cases there is no real manager driving the service forward; there's no one making strategic decisions."

Mclean described the public sector as a "huge data information collection machine" but argued not many councils understood the value of this, providing an opening for savvy resellers.

However, some traditional vendors and suppliers are not nimble enough to help hard-pressed councils, which are considering the shared services alternative.

David Grasty, lead ICT Business Partner at Kingston Council, said: "We are looking for flexibility above all else." He added, "Merging council IT departments provides a sensible way of maximising resources and talent to drive strategic IT plans."

The dearth of senior decision-makers is leading to a hike in outsourcing deals, said Stephen Harley, Milton Keynes Branch Manager at ACS Office Solutions.

"A major trend we are seeing currently is that public sector bodies that previously had their own IT teams have now entered into outsourcing contracts. Channel partners have become the IT department and manage the services for various organisations, especially in the education sector."

Public sector specialists in the reseller and integrator channel must fill the void left by the dwindling toll of senior IT bods.

Jonathan Hallet, VAR director at Netgear, said the channel must "step-up to the challenge to provide public sector workers with the strategic direction they clearly need at a price they can afford".

The old adage that "where there is mystery there is margin" is applicable in circumstances where the customer is akin to a rudderless ship cast adrift on the high seas. Sadly in this situation that ship has already been plundered. ®

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

More from The Register

next story
Video of US journalist 'beheading' pulled from social media
Yanked footage featured British-accented attacker and US journo James Foley
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
Ballmer leaves Microsoft board to spend more time with his b-balls
From Clippy to Clippers: Hi, I see you're running an NBA team now ...
Kate Bush: Don't make me HAVE CONTACT with your iPHONE
Can't face sea of wobbling fondle implements. What happened to lighters, eh?
Amazon takes swipe at PayPal, Square with card reader for mobes
Etailer plans to undercut rivals with low transaction fee offer
Microsoft exits climate denier lobby group
ALEC will have to do without Redmond, it seems
Assange™: Hey world, I'M STILL HERE, ignore that Snowden guy
Press conference: ME ME ME ME ME ME ME (cont'd pg 94)
Call of Duty daddy considers launching own movie studio
Activision Blizzard might like quality control of a CoD film
US regulators OK sale of IBM's x86 server biz to Lenovo
Now all that remains is for gov't offices to ban the boxes
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
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.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.