HP regional VP responds to government IT approach

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“We need to agree on a common standard”

According to governmentcomputing.com, Richard Trevor, regional vice-president of the UK public sector at HP, has criticised the government’s attacks on the ‘oligopoly’ of large IT firms, and its determination to reduce IT spend. Trevor said: “Taking the reduction of IT spend as an absolute target ignores the benefits that can be achieved through IT. There is a view that ‘complex IT’ means it will go wrong. But major IT suppliers are the only companies capable of managing issues such as legacy and standardisation….and upgrading the existing infrastructure that is already in place.”

According to Trevor, the Government Digital Service is doing a good job of addressing user interaction with IT, but claimed that ‘digital’ processes must be continually maintained. “When a benefit claim is made, it is the legacy IT that is at the heart of processing that claim. Typically between 70% and 95% of a CIO’s budget is spent on legacy IT, keeping the lights on. Depending on the organisation, between 10% and 30% of the budget is then spent in trying to transform the business. Ideally, you are always to trying to change that ratio,” he said.

The lack of a common approach to systems across central government is an area that Trevor believes is a major obstacle for suppliers. He says: “We need to agree on a common standard. We have a number of contracts within government and in none of them have we been asked for the same service levels. Yet this lack of standardisation, that means we cannot leverage our scale, is somehow the fault of the IT suppliers.” Trevor claimed there is a huge opportunity for large firms such as HP to work with SMEs through initiatives such as the G-Cloud.


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