Transport for London to slash IT spend by £400m

Mind the budget gap

Mind the budget gap

Transport for London (TfL) hopes to save £400m by restructuring its IT systems.

The savings drive will help deliver part of the £2.4bn of "efficiencies" demanded by TfL commissioner Peter Hendy and London mayor Boris Johnson.

Several hundred people are expected to lose their jobs as part of the £2.4bn cutbacks but it is not known whether technology workers will be among those facing the axe.

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The IT systems restructuring will realise improvements to a range of tech infrastructure including end-user computing datacentres and application hosting management, networks, email archiving and security.

A TfL spokesperson said: "TfL has identified £2.4bn of efficiency savings that will be delivered through de-layering management, eliminating duplication, reducing headcount and improving technology.

"The changes are focused on support and non-operational functions including, among many other areas, our IT activities, so that we continue to improve our passenger services whilst we deliver this massive investment programme.

"Around IT, TfL will be consolidating its budgets and delivering £400m in savings over the plan period."

CIO of TfL Phil Pavitt told silicon.com earlier this year about ongoing work to rationalise TfL's tech, which includes building more common platforms and applications across business units.

"If you start trying to put some of this stuff together you don't need 10 versions of SAP, you don't need 11 versions of Oracle. So it's just a standard we have a lot of it because we haven't done it in a co-ordinated fashion, although it works absolutely fine," he said.

Some tech rationalisation was already realised with the recent move of about 2,500 staff from TfL's surface transport business unit into a single building near London Bridge station, which saw the number of servers supporting the unit slashed by three-quarters.

TfL also expects to realise savings from its deal with suppliers Cubic Transportation Systems and EDS to deliver the Oyster card system and "other ticketing services" from 2010.