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GDS Technology Code of Practice pushes standards of simplicity

By Billy D’Arcy, Managing Director, Enterprise & Public Sector Business, Telefónica UK

“If you can’t explain something simply, you don’t understand it well enough”.

Despite Albert Einstein first saying this in the early 20th century about his quantum mechanics theory, the message holds truer today than it ever has. We live in a complex world of evolving technology, changing regulations and shifting political climates, and while I’ve previously written about the need for simplicity in minimising information asymmetry, a recent publication from the Government Digital Service (GDS) indicates this is also a priority within central government.

The Technology Code of Practice which was issued at the start of September in its own words “…sets the standard on the best way for government organisations to design, build and buy technology.”There was one section, in particular, which really caught my eye – where the Code of Practice refers to “Technology Considerations” and the need to use “off the shelf products and services where possible” in order to encourage its future use.

I consistently see examples in the ICT industry of organisations unable to provide simple, easily understood solutions on a price per month basis.  And instead choosing to offer costly, bespoke technology which often isn’t fully delivered. The victim of this over-complexity inevitably ends up being the customer, and in an era of budget cuts, public sector organisations simply can’t afford procurement that doesn’t deliver the outcome needed.

After reading the new Code of Practice, I asked my Framework team to look at what we could do to ensure we were offering customers simple solutions, as mandated in the GDS Code of Practice. The Network Services framework (RM1045) and the ability to publish Standard Service Offers (SSOs) offers the ideal opportunity for organisations like us to offer simple, off the shelf products based on actual customer needs.

Using these principles, we have developed a new suite of Unified Communication SSOs based around our Hosted MiCloud and Skype for Business propositions. Simple to understand, and with a clear price per user per month, they are available to any public sector organisation to call off against, and each one has been created to maximise efficiency gains within the public sector. As of today they can be found under the Standard Service Offers from O2 section of our O2 Public Sector Catalogue.

I welcome the new Code of Practice published by the GDS, and I’ll be encouraging my team and other suppliers to ensure we are helping public sector organisations satisfy these standards. After all, as the other famous saying goes “simplicity is the ultimate sophistication”.

To find out more about what O2 can offer the public sector, click here or call us on 0800 955 5590.


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