GDS Briefing takeaway part 1: the lock-in paradox
On Tuesday I attended the Government Digital Service (GDS) Briefing “Common Technology Services Strategy Launch” at Tech UK.
The event was run by GDS in conjunction with the Cabinet Office, and hosted by the ever excellent Naureen Khan from Tech UK.
- Favour buy over build
- Favour Interoperability
- Favour shared network
- Avoid Lock in.
Now the first 3 points make perfect sense, and will be essential for a successful and cost saving digital transformation across all departments.
The government wants to buy, excellent news for all suppliers out there, but they want to buy scalable, cross-functional solutions that can be applied/be used by all departments and for different product/services. They are currently working on mapping all department services to assess prioritisation of needs, and have already come to the conclusion that whilst all think they have very specific needs, those specific needs are in fact not that specific… (the end of Special for Gov? Hooray!)
One of first areas of prioritisation to come out it seemed was consolidating properties, hence the ‘shared network’ above.
The last point ‘avoid lock in’ also makes perfect sense from a public sector point of view, but might have been a little harder to sell to the day’s audience however. The message here is that the Public Sector wants to enter contracts that will be easy to exit and that is a little paradoxical from a supplier point of view. So yes the government wants to do business with you, but not too much/not for too long. So contracts that are easy to exit will be seen as more attractive, and therefore may not be exited in the end. Got it?
I leave you to ponder this, I’m off cruising the Grand Union canal for a week after which I will be back for Part 2: the supplier engagement challenge.