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IT News Thread, [UK] Government To Set Up Its Own Cloud Computing System in Other News; Link to Guardian website article: Government to set up its own cloud computing system | Technology | guardian.co.uk The government ...
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    DaveP's Avatar
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    [UK] Government To Set Up Its Own Cloud Computing System

    Link to Guardian website article: Government to set up its own cloud computing system | Technology | guardian.co.uk

    The government will also push for "open source" software to be used more widely among central and local government's 4m desktop computers. That poses an immediate threat to Microsoft, whose Windows operating system and Office applications suite is at present firmly embedded as the standard on PCs in government, such as the NHS, which is one of the largest users in Europe.
    and

    The new scheme aims to replace many of the government's physical phone lines with internet-connected "voice over internet" (VoIP) systems by 2017.
    I'd say that was a good boost to the Open Source cause.

    Now how about using some similar lines of thought in areas...like education?

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    webman's Avatar
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    I didn't think Capita did open source?


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    The principle isn't unreasonable, but the country is usually crap at making these big IT systems. Why is this one going to: a) work, b) be delivered on schedule, c) not end up costing twice what it was supposed to (negating the cost savings that were allegedly it's raison d'etre).

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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveP View Post
    L
    I'd say that was a good boost to the Open Source cause.
    Hmm. If they're going to use proper free licenses, then yes it is. But this being the UK, there's a good chance it will still be heavily restricted proprietary code that they can have a peer at from time to time if they like

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    This is one of the problems with the UK government - they decide on giant projects like this, rather than looking at things from a department by department basis and then letting the departments create their own system with a decent budget to do so.

    One giant cloud? Sure, if they get Google over to do it, but with their usual way of doing things? It'll crash and burn within months.

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    sparkeh's Avatar
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    Anyone else envisage another report into another Government IT disaster?
    In general the Governments track record, and this Government in particular, is terrible.

    Sounds good but I can't help thinking it won't end well.

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    AyatollahPies's Avatar
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    Considering Liebour will be booted out of government in a few months, I think any decisions would have to be delayed until after the GE.

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    enjay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AyatollahPies View Post
    Considering Liebour will be booted out of government in a few months, I think any decisions would have to be delayed until after the GE.
    I'm sure the decision-making process would take far longer than that anyway.

    It is a brilliant card for Labour to play. It has the positives of being a "look, we're radically over-hauling things, being all ultra-modern and saving money" whilst not having to actually be viable as they likely won't get to stay and implement it. If the Conservatives decide to carry it on and succeed it making it work, then Labour also get to point out that the brilliant money-saving ultra-modern overhaul was all their idea in the first place. If the Conservatives carry it on and it flops, Labour get to laugh. The only risk for Labour comes if they win the election and then fail to deliver on this.

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    One of the things this fails to mention is that by centralising such things, the money that was being spent before, on staffing and external providers is no longer spent on them. Meaning job cuts...

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    theeldergeek
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveP View Post
    Link to Guardian website article: Government to set up its own cloud computing system | Technology | guardian.co.uk I'd say that was a good boost to the Open Source cause. Now how about using some similar lines of thought in areas...like education?
    Sounds good, however, that would mean specialist support may be required for possible bespoke systems where open source has been specifically altered to accommodate whatever function is needed, whereas previously, boxed software from Microsoft and other Windows vendors had to do.

    Bespoke support = expensive, so will it be cheaper in the long run?

    I'd hate to see this in schools, personally. We would spend far too long re-designing out networks, configuring workstations, sourcing software etc that may or may not work.

    At the very least, OOTB experience just works, normally.

  11. #11
    theeldergeek
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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    One of the things this fails to mention is that by centralising such things, the money that was being spent before, on staffing and external providers is no longer spent on them. Meaning job cuts...
    I'm already looking to get other feathers in my cap for when the inevitable happens, which it will, and to be honest, I'm already looking (long term +5 years) to getting out of IT altogether.

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    Quote Originally Posted by theeldergeek View Post
    I'd hate to see this in schools, personally. We would spend far too long re-designing out networks, configuring workstations, sourcing software etc that may or may not work..
    Well said, the biggest problem I can see is with a system this large it will be impossible properly assess the end user's needs. It will then go the way of the NHS IT system with the system being implemented and turning out to be complely unfit for purpose. Massives changes will then have to be made and because these weren't in the scope of the original agreement the developers the price will be steep.

    The sensible thing would be to set down standards for transfer data between departments and encourage local governments to use cooperatives to joint develop or procure software where appropriate.

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by theeldergeek View Post
    Sounds good, however, that would mean specialist support may be required for possible bespoke systems where open source has been specifically altered to accommodate whatever function is needed, whereas previously, boxed software from Microsoft and other Windows vendors had to do.

    Bespoke support = expensive, so will it be cheaper in the long run?

    I'd hate to see this in schools, personally. We would spend far too long re-designing out networks, configuring workstations, sourcing software etc that may or may not work.

    At the very least, OOTB experience just works, normally.
    That's a bit of a short-sighted view of open source software to be honest, or at the very least, an out of date one.

    OOTB just works? This site is evidence that it doesn't!

    Support for open source is available just the same as closed - Microsoft have support packages, as do Canonical (Ubuntu makers). Training for *nix systems costs a comparable amount of money as Windows training also.

    The only advantage at present of Windows instead of Open Source, from a support perspective, is that there exists a larger pool of ready trained people for Windows than for *nix - but the IT market is a normal market, driven by supply and demand. As more demand for *nix skills appeared, more people with the skills will appear.

    The other aspect, of availability of software is kind of not really true now either.

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    SpuffMonkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    This is one of the problems with the UK government - they decide on giant projects like this, rather than looking at things from a department by department basis and then letting the departments create their own system with a decent budget to do so.
    With you there - I reckon what they need are strict standards for data exchange that are enforced, then let departments get on with it. Big Govt projects are always a 'mare - and having worked in some - I can see why - as the targets/project direction/users/owners/outcomes/inputs are all available for change at no or little notice to whoever is shouting loudest - so there's never a clear idea of what is going on.

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