Seriously, the reason that restructuring these things into 'managed services' is doomed to fail is that there is no way to get rid of the people that need to be changed - they just migrate onto the new carousel, whether its Strategic Health Authorities changing to CCGs / CSU / Shared services / partnerships.
The ever present belief that the public sector can save money by out sourcing stumbles on two fundamental blocks.
1. Capital investment is mandated, but supported by capital charges. So any service being invested in needs to find revenue money to offset the capital charges. Capital grants also incur capital charges so getting the money for any significant investment is a non starter if there's no revenue coming with it. In fact, there are buckets of capital money knocking around, but you can only spend it if you can provide a revenue cost saving so capital investments wind up being made off other cost centres revenue budgets. I've seen VoIP implementations with hundreds of handsets that have been snuck in without any design or even an outline strategy because the funding was available to be manipulated.
2. The premise of successful outsourcing is that you can define what you want, specifically enough to be able to get it. When these specifications land on [Crapita or whoever], they respond with a proposal that is commercially viable for them. If the specification has been written by a talentless fool it can include nonsense metrics that fuck up the opportunities to salvage anything worthwhile.
If the basic funding model is crippled and the senior staff are 'lifers' that have floated to the top of every attempt to mix it up then you either get [whoever or Crapita] being engaged to draft the spec/strategy or the buzzword bingo metrics of 'lifers' who have bluffed for years and are cueing up a nightmare for their successors.
There is no carrot for the capable staff, so all that's left is stick .... and when its outsourced, the staff get TUPE'd across and then fucked over to provide the 'measured' but lesser service [at a profit].
If the current budget is much less than £1500 per PC or the staffing ratio is less than 22 IT per 1000 end users (for organisations of more than 750 staff) and you have an information centric business then you cannot make radical savings by outsourcing. Of course, if your staff are hand weaving carpets or tanning leather in a bucket then your inputs and thresholds and therefore mileage will be different.
AC, well its because it became a rant!