Public sector CIOs struggle to meet organizational goals

Public sector CIOs want more strategic guidance from the next government on how to better align IT goals with organisational needs.

Asked to identify “quick wins” for the public sector, half of 100 CIOs polled by Coleman Parkes for SAP, identified simplifying and sharing of ICT business processes and on reducing complexity. A third cited the need to reduce energy and power costs as a quick win.

Almost two thirds of public sector CIOs said they were currently struggling to meet their organisation goals.

The poll, conducted this month, questioned eighty CIOs from local government and 20 from central government.

The results come as the major UK political parties battle it out to form the new government.

Despite the IT plans pledged by Labour, the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats, however, public sector IT projects are generally still on track. Just 15 percent of respondents said that they were putting projects on hold because of the general election, although unsurprisingly, central government CIOs were more affected (19 percent more than local government respondents), saying they were not able to progress their IT projects because of the possible change in government.

A third of respondents agreed that open source solutions will make IT “progressively less expensive,” while 19 percent said that cloud computing was also an immediate priority. In addition, 17 percent of CIOs considered crowdsourcing to be important to their organisation at present. However, 44 percent believed that the government’s proposed app store was a long way from being fully functional.

Nearly half (45 percent) of CIOs said that a lack of human and technology resources was the main obstacle to achieving progress in their IT projects. However, 38 percent are more positive about budget constraints, saying that they can still achieve their goals by streamlining processes and embracing new collaboration and on demand technologies.

Simon Godfrey, director of business development and government relations at SAP UK&I, said: “The message to the incoming government is loud and clear: ICT needs to be closer aligned to organisational needs. There needs to be more guidance on how to do more with less and a faster move to simplified and shared services that reduce complexity and drive efficiencies for the public.”

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