The government plans to save up to £500m by forcing departments to standardise the computers, tablets and smartphones being provided to staff.
An initial standardisation programme will be run by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) under the leadership of Nigel Green, the end-user device programme director, which will focus on a handful of departments.
In March 2013 an organisation will then be set up to take the programme forward across Whitehall.
"In central government there are now around 600,000 end-user devices and we need to simplify the spaghetti we have grown over the years," said Green at the Government ICT conference in central London on Tuesday.
"We can cut £100m pounds from central government, and this is a conservative estimate. Savings will probably be five times this amount if we spread the strategy to the NHS and local government," said Green.
"The first phase of the programme is to define a set of generic roles for device use based on business functions across government."
Green said end-user devices will be standardised according to their specifications, such as how much they support mobility and what types of applications they use.
He said the HMRC will have put together a first draft of technical standards by the end of this March. The programme will be rolled out to a number of early adopters some point this year.
"There is a big different between what departments are paying for devices, with maybe a ten-fold difference between the cheapest and most expensive," said Green.
Green said the strategy was all about bringing "lower costs and agility" to Whitehall.
"HMRC want to show how we can produce the IT infrastructure of the future and drive out significant costs."
At the event the government also revealed its G-Cloud initiative had already helped drive down the costs departments are paying for IT services by as much as 90 per cent.
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