It’s fair to say that Government is keen to do more business with SMEs.
To break the grip large technology vendors have held over public sector contracts for decades, Government is now doing more to encourage SME success, and more SME suppliers are gaining traction as a result.
Today, G-Cloud (the Government’s online cloud store for approved technology providers) boasts over 2,000 government IT suppliers and the vast majority of those are SMEs. Also, of the 160 suppliers on the CCS Technology Services 2 framework, more than 60% are SMEs.
As a ‘new kid on the block’ that has benefitted from this shift in approach, Littlefish has been very keen to get in on the discussion and recently spoke to Lis Evenstad at Computer Weekly for her article ‘Government IT contracts: Are the new kids taking over the block’. The piece provides interesting insight into how, and why, SMEs are now gaining a significant share of Government business.
Many leading people in the sector were interviewed including Dan Saxby, category director at CCS, Rob Anderson, central government analyst at GlobalData and former G-Cloud programme director and now independent consultant, Tony Singleton. They all agree that while the perception persists among some SME’s that barriers to entering the Government space are still too high, these can be overcome if they are willing to push the boundaries and make the connections needed to win Government business.
Littlefish Managing Director, Steve Robinson, discusses how winning significant contracts, that were once the privy of large, established system integrators, is partly down to disaggregation, and how this multi-vendor approach encourages freedom of choice. This freedom of choice, which unlocks Government access to agile and innovative suppliers, he argues, can only be a good thing.
Disaggregation is an interesting point. If Government is moving away from single vendor outsourcing contracts in favour of smaller, agile contracts and bringing capabilities back in-house, and obtaining more successful outcomes, then surely this should be the de facto approach across the board?
Steve penned an article on this very topic for Government Computing, ‘Is Disaggregation a reality’, in which he asserts that if SMEs are to prevail and take the place of legacy ITO contracts, then they must proactively build the right relationships to go out and win the business.
By ditching the static old guard, then and only then, can Government deliver a multi-vendor approach, and take advantage of the dedicated skill sets and significant service quality improvements and cost efficiencies SME’s are able to achieve. The alternative is simply handing over the reins again to the industry ‘Goliaths’, returning to the often inefficient and unimaginative service provision of old.
Ultimately the proof is in the quality of service delivered, and the numbers. Littlefish customer, UK Export Finance, had a goal to reduce costs year on year by at least 20% through disaggregation and has achieved that from year one with ease whilst also recognising a ‘quantum leap’ in service performance. Another customer, the Money Advice Service, has saved over £850k per annum since appointing Littlefish.
So, disaggregation it seems is not only a reality, but can clearly deliver better outcomes.
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