Government IT no longer '19th century' but improvements still needed

By Danny Palmer
29 Nov 2012 View Comments
G-Cloud director Denise McDonagh

Government IT is no longer in a "19th century" state, but there's still much work to be done especially when it comes to G-Cloud.

That's the view of the programme's director and director of Home Office IT, Denise McDonagh (pictured), who was speaking about G-Cloud and government IT at the Business Cloud Summit today.

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"We are in the in the 21st century and our IT was in the 19th. We've brought it up to be more modern but there's still more we can achieve," McDonagh told delegates at the central London conference.

One key issue, she argued, is that government departments don't pool resources, even if they're performing similar tasks.

"We have a public sector where we don't join up," she said. "We don't act as one."

"Giving people a modern and flexible IT structure is something we need to do."

McDonagh went on to suggest that the G-Cloud programme needs to sharpen its leadership and message in order to make things clearer for those organisations that use, or want to use, the service.

"We need to provide a bit more clarity and a bit more leadership," she said. "We really need to make public cloud a reality."

The director of Home Office IT is responsible for reducing costs by 30 per cent – the biggest savings target of her 25 years in UK central government.

"These truly are austere times," she told the Business Cloud Summit. "We need to think radically about how we [can make cuts] so we can deliver more for less."

Her comments followed those of deputy government CIO Liam Maxwell, who earlier in the day told the conference the cost of procuring IT services in the public sector needs to be dramatically reduced.

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