Civil servants working on ICT replacement programmes should aim to move to "loosely coupled services and short contracts", he explained.
"Be wary of suppliers who won't do anything shorter than a three year deal. If people are trying to lock you in for longer, there's usually a reason," Read advised.
The Cabinet Office is currently looking for a chief digital officer (CDO), due to be appointed this spring.
The newly-created post will combine the roles of CIO, CTO and CDO to take charge of the department's digital and technology services, reporting directly to permanent secretary Richard Heaton. They will be responsible for recruiting and leading five new in-house digital and technology teams for the department.
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