Monday, May 13, 2002

There's also been follow-up on the "800,000" jobs will be lost in the civil service ... seen in Computing a couple of weeks ago (as 20% of jobs to go), The Register last week, the Sunday Times (12/5/02) and Silicon today. Based on the private sector experience, notably banking and financial services, 20% seems a reasonable target - I lost the plot on how you get from 20% to 800,000, but where I come from the civil service is about 250,000 people - so I guess we are never hiring again (or at least for the next 700,000 years). If you talk to Dell, he'll tell you that when they first put their web site live, more jobs were added to the call centre to cope with the load there (as people checked the web then 'phoned their order) but then, ultimately, he was able to reduce (which is why Dell can survive in this low margin PC game), Cisco will tell you that they save $625 million in customer service jobs annually through web self-service. If we weren't looking for the same benefits in government, wouldn't you (as a taxpayer) worry about why we were doing it? I would and do. There must be better service, more effective service and more efficient service at the end of this ... and cheaper to provide services too. Why bother if not?

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