The government is committed to moving public sector services away from large contracts and bespoke platforms, according to Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude.
"The era of bespoke solutions commissioned with extortionate costs by individual departments is officially over," Maude said at TechUK's Public Services 2030 conference, attended by V3.
Maude touted the Government Digital Services (GDS) government-as-a-platform plans, which he revealed in February, as the key to ending lengthy IT contracts and disparate public sector systems.
The aim is to have public sector services working across common platforms to reduce costs and improve services.
Part of the government's goal of driving digital technology adoption across departments and the wider sector will involve moving away from legacy systems and abandoning the reliance on large IT suppliers.
Maude explained that, while this has been the goal of the GDS, there is more work to be done to inject modern technology across the public sector.
"For too long government IT meant interminable procurement processes to buy services and tech that were obsolete in many cases before the contract was even started, let alone by the time it had run its course," he said.
"That combination of words - British, government, IT project - was a pretty catastrophic one five years ago. It isn't now.
"We have undergone a significant [transformation] and achieved a lot so far, but we are only at the beginning. We're not out of that yet. We still have a lot of legacy."
The minister said the government has established guidelines dictating that no contract should have a lifetime value of more than £100m.
Maude explained that this will see the government focusing on short-term procurement contracts with smaller companies to avoid the over-reliance on "a very small pool of large suppliers".
He added that long-running contracts should not be a barrier to smaller, more innovative and agile businesses.
"Contracts should be smaller [and] shorter to ensure that we have the widest range of suppliers," he said.
"Big or small, established or disruptive, if you provide the right product at the right price we'll do business with you. We want a level playing field for all, biased only to those providing the best quality and price."
Maude painted a promising future for public sector technology that stands to benefit small businesses and start-ups.
But this commitment may be hard to meet, given that at least half of spending through the G-Cloud framework is going to large enterprises.
British Airways blames 'global systems outage' for IT meltdown
Mark Zuckerberg mercilessly trolled by Harvard student newspaper after return to university he dropped out of 12 years ago
'Unauthorised user' blamed by Harvard for insulting Mark Zoinkerberg
Android under attack from 'Judy', Google Play Store malware that has infected up to 36.5 million users
Yet more Android malware discovered on the Google Play Store
Airport believes new system will be more reliable than GPS or Google Maps