The government has developed an IT contract dashboard to encourage departments to become more transparent and make better-informed decisions.
The dashboard, which is still in beta, was built by Common Technology Services (CTS), part of the Government Digital Service (GDS).
Iain Patterson, director of CTS, explained in a blog post that the dashboard "will help us understand why departments request money to spend on IT, the impact of the changes they want to make, and to help prevent them building or buying something which is available elsewhere in government".
He added: "We're doing all of this collaboratively with departments, and the idea is to make everything available for all of government."
Patterson explained that the initiative aims to boost transparency in the government IT sector, showcase good practice and support the sharing of knowledge so that departments can make better decisions and reduce costs and risks when making changes.
The government has a lot of talented individuals, according to Patterson, but they are being held back by ageing IT systems.
"You see that echoed in Civil Service buildings across the country, where outdated operating systems and antiquated kit make everyday activities laborious and frustrating," he said.
Patterson encourages the use of cloud-based collaborative tools to replace on-site legacy software and systems, but warned that departments need support to make the most of such a transition.
"There's a lot of heavy lifting to be done behind the scenes to allow these collaborative tools to work. This is where CTS comes in," he said.
CTS is working closely with departments to understand their IT needs and help source the most appropriate solutions. Patterson noted that a secure email blueprint is already available, and that shared printing and cross-government WiFi are being trialled.
CTS is also helping departments to terminate £4.8bn worth of contracts due to expire in the next two years, and is working with the IT industry to "find smart, safe and cost-effective replacements".
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