Latest Public Sector News

11.09.13

NAO criticises public sector reliance on legacy IT systems

Old IT systems expose the public sector to risks, a new report from the NAO highlights, making performance “patchy”.

In 2011-12 it is estimated that at least £480bn of government’s operating revenues were reliant to some extent on legacy IT. The report warns that failure to change these systems can develop inefficiencies.

Legacy IT also increases the risk of security problems, being locked into support with a single supplier, shortage of skills to maintain and support the systems, the cost of new business processes to compensate for missing functionality and increased complexity through additional interfaces, increasing costs. 

Amyas Morse, head of the National Audit Office, said: “Legacy systems are a fact of life for most significant ICT users. The challenge is how intelligently they are managed, whether they are being retained, updated, replaced or phased out.

“The aim is to balance the costs of these options against the limitations and risks to ICT capability they can present, in a way that makes sense for the user and secures best public value. Performance in the public sector is patchy.”

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