Sunday, 16 March 2008

Bill Thomas and EDS

Interesting interview with Bill Thomas, who heads EDS in EMEA, in today’s Sunday Times. IT forces change on Whitehall.

Bill makes a point that many others have made in the past few years. Government IT policy today is NOT about ‘buying computers’, it is about “accelerating or implementing policy or improving efficiency”. Although that sounds obvious, it was not always so. I heard this story in the context of the Congestion Charge. The first contract awarded to Capita in the 1990s was all about delivering a system of a particular technical spec and it performing to an SLA. The new contract is more about reducing congestion and pollution.

I have long contended that IT companies should get at least part of their ‘reward’ from the benefits the systems they install deliver for the user – be that in the public sector or in the private sector. Indeed, why not a ‘profit share’ between the vendor and purchaser? It is still relatively rare for contracts to be awarded on that basis.

I had an excellent one-to-one dinner with Bill a few weeks back. He celebrates 25 years with EDS this year. Readers will remember that he predates EDS’ takeover of SD-Scicon. Bill is certainly a member of the “Holway Hall of Fame” – a short list of British people who have come up through the ranks to make a major effect on the global SITS scene. Maybe I’ll publish the list someday!

No comments: