Feeds

Whitehall hopes to shave 'conservative' £100m off PC bill

HMRC man eyes NHS and local government

Intelligent flash storage arrays

The government expects to cut at least £100m off its annual personal computing bill under an HMRC led standardisation program.

The savings are expected in procurement, services and management, as departments eliminate waste, duplication and overspend, HM Revenue and Customs' Nigel Green told the Government ICT Conference in London on Tuesday.

Green is the Whitehall civil servant leading government's End User Device Programme.

The G-man called his £100m estimate "conservative" and said more could be reclaimed if the programme was rolled out beyond Whitehall to include the NHS and local government.

He reckoned the current cost per desktop for government full-time employees in the largest of departments was £979, and said the spending range itself is huge – between £512 and £5,344.

Total spend by the large departments is £400m on 600,000 devices, which are mostly desktops and laptops – but increasingly include fondleslabs.

The End User Device Programme is part of the Cabinet Office's ICT strategy – which includes the G-Cloud – and was unveiled last year to deliver public services at reduced costs and to cut waste. G-cloud is being driven by civil servants and techies in the Home Office and the Cabinet Office.

Also speaking at ICT, the G-cloud director Chris Chant reckoned Whitehall is about to unveil a raft of deliverables in a programme that's been knocked for not going far enough by West Coast cloud king Marc Benioff, chief executive of cloud CRM shop Salesforce.com.

A first version of the G-Cloud store will be "visible" in the next two weeks. Accreditation has begun for government suppliers and very soon pricing would be unveiled, Chant said. Government departments will be able to start purchasing in mid-to-late February, he said.

Chant reckoned new services – and suppliers – would then be added on a monthly basis.

Speaking to The Reg at ICT, Chant wouldn't say which, if any, of the big-name US cloud suppliers – such as Salesforce or Amazon – are going through the accreditation process.

Green's device programme is affiliated with G-Cloud and his department last year landed the job of establishing a common infrastructure across government departments to hit the Cabinet's ICT strategy's goals. HMRC's framework will establish "solutions" that work well together based on users' jobs as well as establishing good practice guidelines, according to Green.

The framework will evolve over time, Green promised, and won't prescribe specific devices – that's somebody else's job. "This isn't about a single answer. It's about defining a set of details and the building on it," Green told the ICT event in Westminster.

HMRC won't maintain or implement the framework – that will be the responsibility of a group to be crated in March 2013. HMRC will, however, take a lead in adopting the framework, he said.

"It's all going to be about agility and cost," Green said. "HMRC will be one of those lead departments that takes the principles from the end user device strategy and will show how we can roll out IT infrastructure in future and reduce costs."

A first draft of the programme is expected by the end of March, Green said, with the standards then evaluated by a working group. Programmes at the Home Office, Department for Work and Pensions and the Ministry of Justice are being evaluated on "good practice" and on their ability to avoid potential problems, he said. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
'Cowardly, venomous trolls' threatened with TWO-YEAR sentences for menacing posts
UK government: 'Taking a stand against a baying cyber-mob'
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet
Nerds told to get lost in last-minute power grab bid at UN meeting
Zippy one-liners, broken promises: Doctor Who on the Orient Express
Series finally hits stride, but Clara's U-turn is baffling
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.