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    Government CIOs and IT suppliers ‘hiding behind a comfort blanket’


    According to one of the government’s most senior IT chiefs, the government CIOs and IT suppliers must stop hiding behind a comfort blanket because some of them just do not have the capability to see through the change needed in the WhiteHall IT. Those who are preventing change taking place in the way IT is procured and managed in a valedictory blog post prior to his retirement at the end of April, the G-cloud program director Chris Chant has slammed them.

    Chant says that real progress has been blocked by many things including an absence of the capability in both departments and their suppliers by a strong resistance to change. The CIOs across the government including in different roles at the center of government have been guilty. They have done the unacceptable and though that they were doing a great job.

    He also said that they will have to look hard at themselves and decide how they are going to resolve that because it will turn out to be toughest thing that they have done in their career so far. The government IT has come a long way in the recent years and highlights moves including the open data, greater transparency and G-cloud program for which it has been responsible as the big drivers of change.

    IT in government remain unacceptable, it has certainly come a long way. The trend of open data, transparency, SMEs, open services are not going away. The CIOs across the government need to recognize what has changed and stop hiding behind the comfort blanket of what has always been done before. The big suppliers should see the smoke from that comfort blanket and recognize that the world of government IT has changed. They can longer rely on delivering poor service for big money and get away with it. Chant has pioneered most of the programs at the heart of the reform and it has been one of the most vocal campaigners for the widespread reform of government IT.

    About listing the failings of government IT, Chant cited: The contracts with the single suppliers that have led to both poor service and high costs because that is the way government did things, over reliance on the contracts with the big suppliers leading to smaller, innovative firms that being excluded because of the new suppliers, they figured brought risk and uncertainty.

    Chant said that one of the biggest change is that some in the public sector are no longer willing to put up with the poor service and delivery that they’ve experienced, they are actively looking for a new ways of working. The big departments openly talk about wanting to get away from the traditional model of big, the cumbersome IT.