The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has released a report on the purchase and supply of ICT services to the public sector. The market study considered competition between companies in two main areas that account for around half of UK public sector ICT expenditure – commercial off-the-shelf software and outsourced IT. The OFT found that “competition could work better” and recommended that the public sector improves “the way it procures and manages contracts with suppliers, and that suppliers be more transparent with their public sector customers.”
Phil Dawson, CEO of Skyscape Cloud Services has made the following comments:
“While I agree with much of the OFT’s report with regards to public sector buyers and the changes that we are seeing in the way they procure IT services, the notable absence of the G-Cloud programme from this report is very surprising, particularly given its focus on competition. The fact of the matter is that prior to G-Cloud, SMEs found it extremely difficult, if not impossible, to market their services to the public sector and significant progress has undoubtedly been made to date. Indeed, the numbers speak for themselves, with recent figures revealing that 56 percent of sales through G-Cloud by value (and 61 percent by volume) have been with SMEs. Furthermore, SME representation on the G-Cloud Framework grew by 68 percent through G-Cloud 1 to G-Cloud 4.
“However, the benefits that G-Cloud is facilitating for SMEs goes beyond total spend. The two year old procurement framework is making significant headway in changing behaviours and culture, both within the public sector buying community and by challenging the dominance of large incumbent suppliers. Creating a transparent and open marketplace for all can only be a good thing and also ultimately delivers greater value for money to each and every UK tax payer.”
“In terms of recommendations for change, I believe education is key and there is certainly more to be done to educate the public sector market around the benefits that can be realised with innovative IT services.”