Are SME IT suppliers credible bidders against system integrators in public sector?

The government set itself the challenge of reducing the public sector’s dependence on a small number of large IT suppliers for its services.

Ending the oligopoly of system integrators and at the same time increasing the government’s use of SME suppliers was always going to be a challenge.

The government embarked on a strategy to break contracts up and is now pushing on with a plan to increase the number of SMEs that supply IT to government.

In an article written by one of my colleagues after attending an event last week Liam Maxwell, deputy government CIO, said the next step is to have a much wider range of SMEs engaging with government, with the publication of pipelines a key strategy to get to that point.

“In the IT strategy refresh we will have commitments on pipeline,” said Maxwell.

If SMEs can see pre-tender government requirements, they will be in a better position to build the appropriate skills, he said. “At that point, the SME becomes a credible bidder against a big systems integrator [SI].”

I was hoping to get some feedback from small IT suppliers to see just what business they are winning in government.

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