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Treasury releases results of Spending Challenge poll

by Pete Mason on 16 August 2010, 16:12

Tags: Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), HM Treasury, Linux, UK Government

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If the Treasury asked how you would save money across Government departments, what would you say?

That's exactly the question that was asked of 600,000 public-sector workers, who suggested 60,000 different ideas.  Now those have been sorted and 31 have been chosen to go through to the official Spending Review.

Among the suggestions were a fair few dealing with IT issues.  Unsurprisingly, switching the entire public sector over to open-source software came up, but there were a number of other suggestions that are simple to implement and could save a lot of money.

BFFs or Forbidden Love?

Switching PCs off at night may seem an obvious idea, but apparently it isn't done in the armed forces in case anti-virus updates are needed (suggestion 5).  It also seems that Government printers are set to print in colour by default, needlessly wasting money on colour ink (suggestion 9).  Another suggestion focuses on contracts with IT service providers that are reported to be needlessly expensive and negotiated on poor terms (Suggestion 3).

Of course, it's the idea of migrating away from Microsoft products that will grab the headlines (suggestions 8 and 28).  But would it make sense in the long term?  We already know that the Government is wary of high software-migration costs, but would this be offset by the lack of a licensing fee?

Microsoft has always argued that Windows is cheaper and easier to administer, and that Linux comes with a learning curve that will hurt productivity.

However, recent history suggests that the software giant needn't worry about losing government contracts, this is after all the same government that is sticking with the ageing IE6 web browser to save money.

The other suggestions are relatively easy to implement and it's refreshing to see the Government listening - or at least seeming to listen - to the suggestions of those on the front lines.

HEXUS Forums :: 11 Comments

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I think if the government did make the move to open source then the case study of it being done would be somethng looked at closely by more private sector companies. Might make MS start to think a bit more about their pricing!
How about scrapping benchmarking pay, pensions, contracts etc that are in line with industry sytandards. Seems to me they're over staffed, and poorly kitted out. Thowing man power at a problem doesn't seem to be the most cost effective solution in the long term, and it brushes the problems with the infrastructure set up and technology utilisation under the carpet.

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I agree that quite a few should be fired, i'm a student, so have to go through student loans to get money, now my parents have been married for about 40years, and student finance keep asking for a divorce certificate after she's already rang up twice, also to top it off they're asking for the certificate to someone that we don't even know. Bless the public sector.
I believe the government has looked at StarOffice (Open office) in the past. Without going to whole linux route, a threat to move away from MS office will atleast lower the price deal they get as without MS office there is little reason to stay on the MS platform.
Ah the good old open source arguement, ever tried to train millions of people on using a new OS, email, word processing and other replacements?

Yeah you save massive money on the basic software it self, but then comes training and modification on the software and the costs to hire the staff to do that. Also dont even go into the increased cost of support after the change.

There is a reasons why the Government uses main stream packages from Microsoft, one being its the most known to the public and there for less intensive to train new recruits and get productivity from them fast. Whats windows PC desktop share these days? 90%?

Suggestions are just that until the maths and real costs are factored.