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Companies want £1 billion in public funds for green IT

A panel of companies and MPs gathered in Westminster yesterday to call on Government for a £1 billion fund to invest in greener, more efficient ICT for local services.

Houses of Parliament

Industry leaders yesterday called for the government to invest 1 billion into ICT for local services, allowing organisations to cut costs and green up their IT.

The plan was put forward by Logicalis at the House of Commons yesterday, and supported by the Society for Information Technology Management (SOCITM) as well as Labour MP Andrew Miller.

The group suggested the money should come from central government but be used across local services such as education, health and local government.

Chris Gabriel, marketing and solutions director for Logicalis UK, said: "For every pound spent of this 1 billion fund... services would see a return of at least 3 in efficiencies by 2012. By the time we are out of the recession a return of investment could already have been achieved."

The panel reiterated government goals of reducing 80 per cent of carbon emissions by 2050 and sees now as the time to start working towards that goal whilst investing in a better running IT infrastructure for shared services.

Andrew Miller, MP for Ellesmere Port and Neston, said: "I firmly believe that solutions to some of these IT and environmental issues will not happen with government working alone or the public sector working alone. It must be a partnership and a partnership is a vital tool for driving change."

The private sector was also welcomed to join the discussion.

Gabriel said: "To meet the expectations of people the public sector needs to work with others. We can all work together which ever sector to achieve our goals [for cutting carbon emissions and costs] and business aligned key technologies will help us."

These key technologies discussed included virtualisation, cloud computing and server consolidation.

Although such a fund is just at the discussion stage right now, Logicalis and its supporters said it could be realised as soon as the next budget.

Tom Kelly, managing director of Logicalis UK, said in a statement: "The UK government is looking to stimulate the economy by bringing forward major capital projects but has so far ignored investment in locally-driven ICT efficiency projects. At a time when the government needs money to fund economic growth, missing this opportunity to both stimulate and save would be tantamount to negligence."

It's not the government's only investment into the IT sector, as yesterday marked the unveiling of a cyber security strategy for the UK.

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