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Aspire contract needs innovation not vanilla, says outgoing HMRC CIO

Derek du Preez | Sept. 11, 2013
HM Revenue & Custom (UK) department's £700m-a-year outsourcing contract is up for renewal in 2017

Hall noted that HMRC has a strong desire to push these agendas, but there is a challenge with such a large department working with small players.

"What we have done is a lot of outsourcing-based work, but the challenge is how to bring innovation, and if I'm being slightly blunt, innovation from SIs and large vendors that are trying to sell us the vanilla type IT," he said.

"Most innovation is coming from start-ups and SMEs, it's not coming from the large traditional vendors. So there's a challenge about how you get those people into a large outsourcing arrangement. We recently ran an event where we brought in 12 small businesses and ran an innovation session with them for a day, and we are now taking all those 12 forward in terms of ideas they are developing."

He added: "But it's taking that radical thought to really put those people in. If you are a small business of 10 people with a really great idea, imagine coming into an organisation like HMRC that start to talk to you about risk, challenges, availability - it all becomes quite difficult. So we are doing a lot of incubator work to try and help those businesses."

It was recently revealed that Hall is soon to be replaced by Mark Dearnley, currently Vodafone's UK CIO, as HMRC's new Chief Digital and Information Officer.


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