UK Government “revenue party over” announcement re large IT/ERP projects long on intent but short on execution

Posted on December 17, 2010

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Cabinet Office minister, Francis Maude, speaking at a meeting attended by 31 major government suppliers including BT, Hewlett Packard, IBM and CapGemini, claimed that large-scale bespoke IT systems – many of which have gone significantly over budget in the past – would henceforth be replaced by less expensive and “off the shelf” offerings.

Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude

So opened my December 3rd, 2010 post (UK Government Puts An End To The Gravy Days of Big Budget IT Initiatives: Another Nail for Large ERP Vendors?!), in which I reviewed the announcement by Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude . . . okay more admonishment than announcement, that over-arching, big budget non-delivering IT/ERP initiatives are a thing of the past.

Of course such proclamations from governments are nothing new, with most quietly fading away into the amnesic recesses of the next major crisis or scandal without making so much as a dent beyond the original flurry of interest.  So why is the Maude announcement different, if in fact it is, from these previous forays into fiscal responsibility?

I recently had the opportunity to talk with Colin Cram, the 30 plus year UK public sector veteran and author of the increasingly important Towards Tesco paper on the PI Inquisitive Eye TV Program.

Colin Cram "Towards Tesco"

During the interview, Cram provided an interesting perspective that only a 30 year public sector veteran can, explaining why this is indeed the real deal and why Maude’s announcement signals the end of the big IT/ERP era.

That being said there are still countless obstacles that need to be overcome before Maude’s vision manifests itself in a tangible and meaningful way.  This includes addressing major issues regarding the lack of an effective SME engagement mechanism within the government, the public sector’s propensity for equating standardization with IT platforms versus data intelligence and, looking beyond the needs of central government.

Below you will find an excerpt from the interview with Colin Cram, while you can access the program in its entirety through the following link; UK Gov Tell Large IT/ERP Vendors That Big Paydays Are Over.

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