The UK’s outgoing Government Chief Information Officer, John Suffolk, has hailed process change and the recasting of ICT in the public sector as major achievements during his tenure.
Suffolk announced his decision to leave the Civil Service after seven years, five of which were spent as GCIO and Senior Information Risk Owner (CISO).
In a letter to FutureGov Asia Pacific, Suffolk said that his legacy would be the UK’s strategy towards data centre rationalisation and ushering in cloud computing in the public sector.
“When I joined Government there was very little cross working, almost
no strategic relationships with our core suppliers, little, if any,
transparency and open reporting, no benchmarking or performance
metrics,” he said.
Overall shared service programmes had failed twice, he said, and
government agencies had very little focus on outcomes and benefits.
“There were no strategies for open source, open standards and reuse,
the sustainability agenda was not even heard of, and cloud computing had
not been invented,” he said.
“Now many countries around the world copy our policies and strategies.”
Suffolk said that a recent ICT conference with 14 other countries revealed each of them was following UK strategies around data centre rationalisation, shared common infrastructure and software as well as cloud computing.
Suffolk’s decision to step down follows the announcement of the most demanding UK public sector review in a generation.
During his tenure many landmark ICT
initiatives had been achieved including the rationalisation of
infrastructures to create a ‘cloud’ model; the continued sharing of
assets and systems; and, the drive to benchmark and drive
He said that more systems had been put online over the last 7 years,
focussed around the government’s central portal, DirectGov, but based
around horizontal citizen and business needs and focussing more on SMEs.
“We have made substantial progress and much of the agenda that we set out to achieve has been completed,” Suffolk said.
“From ensuring that the majority of services can be undertaken both
online and via other channels and that where necessary there is good
integration between departments and services.”