Top 10 local authority ICT stories of 2014

Publictechnology takes a look at the 10 most read stories affecting council ICT during 2014.

The past year has been an eventful one for public sector ICT. The year started with councils racing to put measures in place to ensure their systems were compliant with the Public Services Network Standard by the April deadline – a feat largely achieved. Central government put in place a number of pan-government tenders which made strides in making services useful for local government.

Councils also came forward with innovative measures to use ICT as a tool to help cushion the impact of large cuts in central funding – including a number of service sharing agreements. Later in the year, the Labour Party launched its Digital Government Review, outlining how the party would reform ICT services if elected to power in 2015.

We look at the 10 most read stories on PublicTechnology during the year.

10. £2 billion Scottish public sector tender launched
In February, City of Edinburgh Council invited bids for a comprehensive ICT services contract – worth up to £2 billion – covering the majority of councils and NHS health boards in Scotland.

9. Public sector warned over Ukraine cyber-war threat
Tensions in the Ukraine hit local government, with warnings that they could face imminent danger from cyber attackers. Thankfully the fears proved unfounded.

8. Sunderland targets cuts using ‘intelligence hub’
Sunderland demonstrated its faith in the power of Big Data when it announced awarded a contract to build a new “intelligence hub” aimed at crunching data to help target efficiency savings of £100m.

7. Vodafone launches PSN cloud capability
Supplier Vodafone announced in March that it had  launched a hybrid cloud capability allowing IL3-level data to be transferred, and which can be accessed by councils on a pay-as-you-go basis.

6. Cabinet Office to launch data hosting company
Local authorities will be able to host applications not suitable for cloud hosting via a new company being created by central government to provide data hosting services, according to an announcement

5. Scottish Big Data centre announced
Scottish local authorities are set to participate in a new Big Data innovation centre following funding approval. It is expected to create 345 new jobs and will focus on digital technology, energy, financial services, healthcare and public sector markets.

4. G-Cloud 6 set to launch next month
News that the next iteration of G-Cloud was imminent caused excitement among readers. Applications have now closed, with a new supplier list expected to be announced early next year.

3. G-Cloud buyers could face legal challenge
A group of public sector ICT professionals called for major changes to the G-Cloud project. It claimed that some purchasing bodies could face legal challenges because they have deviated from the G-Cloud buying guide. As far as we are aware, these fears now appear unfounded.

2. Cabinet Office admits PSN mistakes
The Cabinet Office approach to Public Services Network did not, it is fair to say, go down very well with local authorities. In January, Cabinet Office chief operating officer Stephen Kelly ate humble pie in an attempt to mend relationships. He said: “…we are aware that the approach applied to those that are yet to comply has not always been right. I listened to concerns about our communications, and I reiterated to senior leaders that I acknowledge those concerns.”

1. G-Cloud 5 supplier list revealed
Local authorities have had a reputation of indifference towards G-Cloud. Despite this, our exclusive story revealing the successful suppliers for the fifth iteration of the framework was our most viewed story of the year. The supplier list for the sixth iteration is due to be announced early in 2015.

Colin Marrs

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