For some time there have been growing concerns about the cost of the new NHS centralised information system. The latest estimates are truly staggering: Â£31 billion.
What kind of a mindset creates such a behemoth?
Why is it required that the system should be centralised?
It is almost as though the Ministers forgot that the internet exists- it is totally unnecessary to centralise patient information to this absurd degree. While there might be concerns over the security of the links, these apply just as much to a centralised system - and curing the problem would not take Â£31 billion.
A system that re-invents the wheel to solve a problem that does not really exist- that is typical of Whitehall.
Meanwhile Microsoft has also managed to lay an egg, in the shape of its new Vista operating system- a system that has taken an enormous amount of centralised brain power to develop. Yet no one else will ever do the same. Again, the answer is the internet- linking simple units together creates far more complexity, far more quickly that any centralised system could ever originate. Thus the development of new software is coming from Open source systems, like Linux and proprietary operating systems are already losing ground in the face of this phenomenon
The same applies to public administration- the great bureaucracies, whether Microsoft or the NHS (or even political parties that manage to borrow tens of millions on low security) will not be able to compete with smaller, simpler, cheaper networks.
And, you ain't seen nothin' yet.
Cicero will be listening to Steve Forbes speaking this evening, and will report back in the morning.