Which organisations are using Google Apps and which are using Office 365? As well as reviewing the office productivity and collaboration suites CIOs are talking about, we round-up the attitudes towards outsourcing and vendors over the last year.
"We've done some sharp stuff around getting the volume from vendors and really looked at the clauses in contracts. For the last couple of years, every area of the organisation has had to cut targets, but it's important to collaborate. So now the approach is to look at what the overall savings will be and what big-ticket saves will really change the organisation. There will be no growth in IT, but there will be investment in retooling and reducing complexity."
Mark Gannon, Nottingham City Council CIO
"To me there are aspects of IT that are better outsourced and there are aspects that you outsource at your peril, the equation for that is different with every business."
Keith Hopkinson, Genus CIO
"Most of the run and operate is commodity stuff, so why wouldn't you outsource it? But the difference is they run and manage it with us. So it is not an outcome-based service where you don't care about how they do it as long as they do it; it is a managed partnership. The design, strategy and the architecture is with Schroders and we work with them on the solutions."
Outgoing Schroders CIO head of IT Matthew Oakeley
"We expect all our contracts with the private sector to be able to be shared.
"Once you've got the infrastructure I think it's great to have a dynamic in-house capability we can use and I think we'll start to go there. We're a fully outsourced model but I can see us thinking about those sorts of areas close to business agility we might bring back in. That will be a journey over the next couple of years."
Neil Clark, Heathrow CIO
"We also carried out a big programme to reduce the number of contractors. We now have SSP contractors who are with us for a stated task, and that has saved us a lot of money.
"We like to operate with mid-tier vendors. The Trust needs to be in their top 20 customers, so I can call the chief executive. We are a nice brand to have and we have some nice challenges. Tier one vendors have a real problem with being agile, they are too rigid, too US and too sales led.
"Mid-tier vendors get that it's about service and support, and that is where you get real value. The majority of our suppliers fall in love with us and go above and beyond the call of duty."
Sarah Flannigan, National Trust CIO
"One of the challenges in healthcare is the relationship with the vendors. NHS England says it needs a strong technology market base. The vendor community has been totally opportunistic, now it has to be about the supplier market being involved in the professionalism of healthcare. That's all part of being a more sustainable business."
Former UCLH director of IT James Thomas
"We have taken control of our technology destiny now. We have more in-house developers and will be getting the right vendors to work in the right wa."
Richard Thwaite, Metropolitan Police CIO
"I want a vendor who is easy to engage with, quick to deploy and able to adapt. As CIO I want to select a product or service where we can get it wrong, but we can iterate.
"It should be endlessly configurable and adaptable."
David Jack, Hyperion CIO
Windows 8 and Google Apps vs Office 365
"Windows 8 has been personally disappointing. Now the strategy has no Windows in it at all. It couldn't be a more abrupt turnaround. We are now focusing on Android and iOS for delivering mobile applications and information.
"The Microsoft vision of Windows 8 being a platform for all formats just isn't the case. There are three versions of Windows 8. Windows 8 was a backwards step for us and we will now stick with Windows 7. It is a shame."
Keith Hopkinson, Genus CIO
"I took our business to Google because it was a great opportunity. That move is relatively low-risk, and come December of this year it will have been five years without a hitch. We no longer have discussions about storage, licences, mailboxes and patches. That is a set of problems that has been totally taken away."
Jeremy Vincent, Jaguar Land Rover CIO
"Our Outlook only operates when there is a connection. Office 365 works for us in a number of ways, in the office everyone is comfortable with it, but also through the G-cloud we get a competitive pricing model. You can integrate Office 365 with Office 2007 and that makes some of the business change issues invisible."
Martin Britton, Natural Resources Wales CIO
Barry Smith, Foster and Partners head of IT
"People loved Google Apps for the flexibility. The result is a much slimmer Microsoft Office estate.
"The IT isn't easy, but it is the business change that is the hardest to get right."
Paul Coby, John Lewis IT director
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"Until our recent effort to make our business more inherently digital, technology used to hold us back.
"Our antiquated email and calendars randomly deleted appointments, which caused us to miss crucial senior sales meetings, delaying projects and even derailing sales opportunities - issues that we estimated cost £30,000 a month of lost revenue.
"We now work together more seamlessly with Google Apps and share ideas more readily, whether we're brainstorming around a ping pong table in our London office or meeting via Hangout with a colleague working from India."
Sharon Cooper, BMJ CTO
"We use the Google Apps platform because Google is good enough for the content we produce and very good for the collaboration.
"Google Apps feels right. When people join they need a bit of retraining as they fight the machine a bit. But then they start to collaborate more and there is no 'attachment hell'.
"There is some Microsoft in the organisation - PowerPoint if people need it, and the finance department needs Excel. But for general purposes, Google is 95% good enough and it is £23 per user, per year, and I get that constant stream of innovation."
Bill Wilkins, First Utility CIO
"We have moved everyone within the CRN off SharePoint and on to Google, and done so in about two months. The opportunities with Google Apps are massive.
"You can imagine, moving an organisation with an academic research culture from Outlook to Gmail, where there are no storage folders, was at first challenging.
"But the collaboration piece within Google is a change to the way of thinking. So it is about 'Do I really need to work on this on my own, or do we try and knock this together as a group?'"
Richard Corbridge, healthcare CIO
"We are using server based technology at present to deliver information on various form factors, it is a genteel start. We have invested in Microsoft. Microsoft has a dominant footprint, but Android is becoming a personal de facto. We are currently rolling out Windows 7 as our core system to replace XP and using Windows 7 as a way of introducing new ways of working such as open plan hot desk policies in the headquarters."
Former West Midlands Police CIO Chris Price