Privatisation can help upgrade public infrastructure

22 December,2016 by Jack Vamvas

IT processes are a central operations function in large government projects. The automation and subsequent efficiencies can save large amounts of money. In an age, where governments are under scrutiny to decrease costs, it’s an attractive proposal to employ IT systems engineers , who can develop information systems to modernise processes.As IT professionals we need to become aware of industrial changes and the forces which will shape the industry. An example is the Impact of Brexit on IT contractors

So it makes sense that as government departments review and plan upgrading infrastructure , IT processes are a key part of planning. Let’s do a quick review of some of the strategic thinking in-play for public infrastructure development and how it could impact IT

The government is facing Big decisions about the infrastructure within airports, roads, utilities and railways due to repeated delays e.g. Southern rail. The workforce is increasingly mobile and in the UK particularly commute long distances. A solid and dependable infrastructure is key to absorbing more activity

The requirement to upgrading existing infrastructure is partly driven by Britain questioning the high expenditure required on such new –build projects as High Speed Rail 2 i.e expense, time and more delays it would take

Britain had a global reputation for successful infrastructure, in particular during the Victorian era. Most projects began from private enterprises e.g. the Brighton rail line however they were then amalgamated, nationalised or both.

Despite the increased usage of these services there appears to be few mechanisms for private companies to invest in infrastructure development projects. Commuters, air passengers, drivers and energy bill payers watch costs rising with seemingly no added value to the service

Britain spends a lower amount than many other developed countries but still investments in infrastructure will not be made.

There is a large risk to investing in large infrastructure projects due to overrunning time and budget blowouts .

In comparison Australia has a slightly different system. Taxpayers fund the construction and investors buy the new and developed project when it’s finished.

Privatisation reuses the publics money and puts it into infrastructure, improves tax returns by increasing the economy and generates assets for pension schemes.

The state does have to take on construction risk and smaller projects such as house building or solar farms require deregulation instead.

The Australia example shows that even though large infrastructure projects require billions of pounds, private money can make it more viable and take the pressure off public finances.

There is significant potential for private funding of infrastructure. IT will play a part in influencing the timely completion of projects , increased collaboration and cost efficiencies.

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Author: Jack Vamvas (http://www.sqlserver-dba.com)


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