One of the big complaints about the Conservatives in recent weeks has been a growing concern about their lack of policy. I believe this is very much a real issue for the Tories and in some ways I believe they have been unfairly slated. To be fair the other parties are just as bad and aren’t showing their policy cards either. At the moment politics seems to be all about themes and no substance. However, state IT reform is an area where the Conservatives have clearly revealed some excellent Government IT policy intentions.
Today I decided to call Conservative Central Office and see if I could get details of the Conservatives IT policy. I have to say the policy statement I received was clearly drafted by someone with real world knowledge and experience of the problems which have faced government IT procurement in recent years. The policy explained to me was published in their draft document called “Delivering Change” which sets out a draft version of their approach to government IT. This was officially adopted as party policy in December 2009. Fantastic! the policies if implemented are exactly what the IT industry the Project Management profession and the State Deficit need with little downside :-
I just read this morning of a land mark legal case between BSkyB and EDS which is set to change the way IT Projects are run in the future.
The Technology and Construction Court found in favour of BSKYB following the company’s five-year battle with EDS over a failed customer relationship management (CRM) system. The case is the most expensive legal dispute in the history of the IT Industry, costing both sides an estimated £40m each. I have to say with 70% IT Project failure rates (please see CHAOS survey ) it is a surprise we have not seen a case like this earlier. It is extremely rare for an IT supplier to be accused of fraudulent misrepresentation and even rarer for a supplier to be found guilty of it. Make no mistake this is a landmark decision which in my view will give rise to suppliers reviewing sales techniques (no longer will project managers be a salesman’s flunky), contractual arrangements and what is presented to customers in terms of their capabilities, services and products. Oversell and a supplier’s days could be numbered.
I heard recently that Barclays Bank is going to bring its IT Application Development in-house after deciding not to renew its £400m IT Outsourcing Agreement with Accenture.
This means that some 230 staff who moved to Accenture as part of the original outsourcing deal struck in 2004 are now on their way back to Barclays. I understand that the reasons for Barclay’s refusal to renew the contract were “entirely commercial”. However, it is important to note that this in source decision comes on the back of a strategic review of Barclays and the adoption of the best model to support their strategic needs going forward. This perhaps suggests something wider was taken into consideration when deciding not to continue their IT outsourcing partnership with Accenture.
I have to say IT insourcing seems to be a more common trend these days. Only recently Prudential insourced it’s IT development back from Cap Gemini. However, one thing seems to be a common thread to all these insourcing arrangements is the reasons for doing so are always vague and benign to all involved.
Posted by Kevin Brady on Sat 2nd January 2010 at 11:16 PM, Filed in Industry News
For those IT professionals and contractors working for the public sector life is going to get tough in the coming months.
The word on the street is that Local Government and Whitehall are going to make cuts in IT of between 10% and 40% in the 2010/11 financial year. It’s not a case of will cuts be made, but how much and when. The problem for any incoming government is that £180 billion borrowing requirement is not sustainable. An incoming government will either make the cuts under its own steam or the International Monetary Fund will make the decisions for them.
The National Audit Office (NAO) one of the few government departments not under the direct control of Gordon Browns spin machine is investigating another IT disaster, this time at the Student Loans Company.
Apparently the problems at the Loan Company started with the document scanning equipment which set off a chain of events which caused organisational meltdown. Thousands of students did not receive loans, allowances, grants on time. What makes this worse is that the technological problems which triggered this situation have not been corrected an all to familiar story.
So how will the government bury this one?