Gov IT bods must shield their budgets from gov's knife – Socitm
Increased use of council ICT services putting the squeeze on managers
A report from the public sector IT directors' group Socitm has identified four ongoing priorities for ICT managers in the wake of continuing austerity.
The priorities are: protecting ICT budget share by promoting the role and achievements ICT functions; focusing on reducing total costs of ownership; reviewing insourcing versus outsourcing; and reviewing information and technology strategies.
Titled Making do with less, Socitm's report and summary of the results for 2011 from its benchmarking service – which assesses the performance of council ICT departments – argues that the tension between the growing demand for ICT services and the role ICT is expected to play in transforming other services has led to a decline in user satisfaction.
The report says there is no sign of light at the end of the austerity tunnel. "While there are variations in the proportions of overall budget allocated to ICT, no organisation has escaped the funding squeeze," it says.
"On the plus side, the evidence to date suggests that ICT functions will respond well to the extreme challenges likely in the years ahead."
The report highlights the importance of benchmarking as a tool for ICT managers. It argues that only analysing an organisation's costs or performance without reference to other organisations is not a good starting point when arguing for scarce resources.
Benchmarking allows organisations to probe into processes and procedures, ask relevant questions that reveal how to strip out costs and increase efficiency, and accurately target opportunities to save, according to the document.
The report adds that benchmarking also plays a key role in preparing for and managing the performance of both shared and outsourced services - routes many authorities are embarking on in the search for major savings. According to Socitm, in both cases benchmarking establishes baseline costs and performance against which future progress can be measured.
With regard to outsourcing, the report says that benchmarking in advance of outsourcing can encourage organisations to make savings before awarding a contract.
This article was originally published at Government Computing.
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Re: Special Pleading
Thing is ICT is one of the areas they could slash costs with minimum losses. In all likelyhood the government could shift a lot of their software to free or cheaper alternatives with minimum overhead, short term it'd work out the same, long term it'd save hundereds of thousands across the board.
They most likely have hundereds of licenses for office / windows which go unused and can easily be axed.
Some buildings still make use of PCs a decade old with CRT monitors (somehow) scrap these and replace them with Atom workstations, small term cost for a longterm cut in spending on energy. So long as they can defend a short term cost for a long term saving they should be fine.
How many workstations have software they don't need? There are many ways they could slash ICT costs with 0 impact if they went about it the right way. Would they be major cuts? Probably not, but it'd still be cuts in costs over the next X years which can be defended with realistic figures.
Re: Special Pleading
Yes, there are bound to be ways to save money. Your list is full of rich pickings.
But why havn't they done that already? They have been paid to run the department, not to let it get out of control.
ICT what ICT ?
As im the last left of the ICT department in the council i work for and as im leaving soon due to compulsory redundancy, ICT wont be driven in this council internally or externally i.e schools, as am told "this council doesn't do I.T anyone as we don't know what we are doing, that's why we have the private company (Capita) doing our I.T now, saving money has gone out the window just spend, spend, spend but save money buy cutting jobs not only in ICT but everywhere