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Preventing the next government IT disaster

University of Cambridge - From Obamacare to Universal Credit, government has a poor record when it comes to handling major IT projects. Happily research by Dr Mark Thompson is laying the foundations of a new IT strategy which many hope will open up new markets and opportunities for innovation.

By laying the foundations of the Government’s current information technology (IT) strategy, research by Dr Mark Thompson, University Senior Lecturer in Information Systems at Cambridge Judge Business School, is enabling local and national government cut IT costs – and helping open up new markets and opportunities for innovation for small businesses across the country.

When academic research changes government policy, its impact can be far reaching, but when that policy concerns the way government procures IT, its impact on design and delivery of public services can be profound. Thompson’s 2009 white paper – Open Source and Open Standards – for George Osborne (now Chancellor of the Exchequer) is a case in point.

A pioneer of open innovation thinking in the UK public sector, Thompson runs Methods – a multi-million pound business – as well as studying the business world. He believes that by learning from the success of platform-based business models like eBay and Amazon, local and national government can not only save money but stimulate innovation.