Azzurri prepares for public sector outsourcing love in

Azzurri is forging a major accounts team for the public sector in anticipation of growing demand for outsourcing.

Azzurri is forging a major accounts team for the public sector in anticipation of growing demand for outsourcing.

The finance sector started outsourcing IT about 15 years ago and with many banks now on their third or fourth contract, they have already cut contract costs to the bone, but public sector organisations are relatively late to the game.

"The public sector typically has not managed their IT spend particularly well and most are first generation outsourcers," said Azzurri CEO Mark Quartermaine.

The public sector accounts for less than 10% of Azzurri's sales and new head honcho Quartermaine - who built experience of the segment while at BT - is keen to develop operations there despite the austerity spending measures.

"Local government is a big opportunity because while they are going through budget cuts, it will force them to look differently at the way they are providing services," he added.

Many of the in-house IT departments will be under pressure to cut costs and are already voicing interest in outsourcing. "There are savings to be made and now is exactly the right time for us," he added.

Public sector suppliers need a "pedigree, an understanding of the market and to be agile in terms of the offering" said Logicalis UK boss Tom Kelly.

"I've never seen anything like that from Azzurri in that market so I think they will struggle," he said.

In a report on UK Public Sector SIST: Impact of a new government, TechMarketView asserted that "greater use of the private sector is inevitable" but warned requisite upfront investment in major outsourcing projects could be a barrier to "quick cashable savings" over a 12 to 18 month period.

The analyst pointed out that within the Comprehensive Spending Review only the Foreign and Commonwealth Office made plans to "simplify, standardise and streamline" back office function by increasing outsourcing.

"As a result, we believe it will be at least 2013/14 before increased demand for outsourcing services (whether white-collar BPO or ITO) impacts UK public sector Software and IT Services market growth," said analyst Georgina O'Toole.



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