The Government can save €150 million on the cost of the public-sector technology bill and deliver more efficient services to the public by an increase in shared services and outsourcing, a new report published today has said.
The report’s author, Declan Kavanagh, CEO of Sogeti Ireland, said the cost of IT in the public sector, including staff and outside consultants, is at least €265 million per annum.
He argues that €150 million of this could be saved by more effective use of external consultants, enhanced ICT procurement, more IT shared service centres of excellence and outsourcing certain aspects of public-sector IT.
The study points out that there are many fine examples in the public sector, such as the online motor tax system that showed how a relatively small and focused IT investment can boost services to citizens and cut public-sector operational costs.
“The deployment of ICT in the Revenue Commissioners has also been very effective. At the same time, the public sector also has examples, most notably PPARS, where ineffective management and deployment of IT can lead to waste of public funds,” Kavanagh said.
Ireland can learn from Northern Irish public sector
The report also suggests that Ireland can learn from processes being adopted in the Northern Ireland public sector. These include advanced "shared services" for Central Government and the Northern Ireland Civil Service, including IT.
Simple processes should be introduced to ensure better value and performance from outside IT suppliers, the report says, and there should be a move to shared IT services and assets, with cloud computing or Software as a Service (SaaS) having major potential benefits for public-sector IT delivery.
Focus on outsourcing
The study also recommends a greater focus on IT outsourcing: “Costs can be saved because the outsourced area is the supplier’s core business and their core competence,” Kavanagh said.
“The supplier should have best practice, economies of scale and significant expertise. They should be cheaper, faster and offer higher quality and service levels,” he added.
To read Sogeti Ireland’s white paper, How IT Can Assist in Economic Recovery by Declan Kavanagh, visit www.sogeti.ie
Photo: Declan Kavanagh, CEO of Sogeti Ireland.