25 November 2015, is a memorable date for most Public Sector Executives, although not for the right reasons, writes Mark Smith, CEO of SAP and Oracle software support specialist Support Revolution.
Less than 18 months ago, the former Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, set out the Government’s spending plans up to 2019-20. The Spending Review outlined detailed cuts averaging 19% across unprotected government departments. The UK’s fiscal watchdog followed this up by predicting that one hundred thousand public sector jobs are likely to be shed during the period.
For every Public Sector Executive this was a bad day that signalled the beginning of what would be a very difficult five-year period. Budgets had to reduce by around one-fifth, jobs needed to be cut and the pressure to do more, with less, would never be greater.
Knowing where to start?
Buried within the detail and the resulting administration was an insistence that IT budgets were specifically targeted. However, public trust in Government IT to deliver a cost effective solution was low and had hit the headlines earlier in the year with reports detailing how The British Government ‘blew’ £2.5bn on IT projects flagged at ‘high risk of failure’ in 2014/15.
The ‘Universal Credit’ IT project was singled out as one of the most expensive IT projects flagged as ‘high risk’. The total lifetime cost of the project has increased by £3bn over the last two years to £15.85bn. Knowing where to start and what to cut was a daunting prospect for every Public Sector Executive.
Better sourced services
A key IT cost for the Public Sector is software support and maintenance from large ERP vendors such as Oracle and SAP. In 2013 alone, the UK Government spent approximately £290m on Oracle; a cost which is exacerbated by the fact there are so many versions of the software and various support levels and costs.
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Government & Public Sector Journal, 7th June 2017