SMEs Defend Government IT Role

Jun 26, 2014

Smaller-sized tech companies have hit back at reports that the coalition’s IT policies are “shambolic,” claiming they are both qualified and beneficial to deliver projects.

Earlier this week, The Financial Times reported Ministers had claimed that increasing Whitehall use of smaller businesses to deliver IT was an “idealistic” policy and SMEs not the best fit for the required tasks.

However, a number of companies falling into the smaller category have decided to step forward and say they are up to the challenge of providing the government with IT solutions.

Peter Groucutt, managing director of cloud computing SME and government supplier Databarracks, told a UK channel publication about his concerns.

“It discredits the tireless work which has already been done in providing SMBs with greater opportunities to support the IT needs of government departments,” Groucutt claimed.

“It is important to recognise that the shift towards public sector and government Departments embracing IT services from SMBs is still very much in its infancy.

“There were always going to be challenges under any new procurement process, but rather than criticising the work achieved so far, now is the time for a real push towards increasing awareness of the benefits that can be seen through services offered,” he added.

Mixed Progress In Government SME Use

When the coalition came to power, it pledged that it would do 25% of all government business via SMEs by 2015.

In doing so, it claimed it would break up the “oligopoly” of large suppliers dominating the market, increasing competition, ensuring value for money for the taxpayer and allow fast access to the latest technologies.

In some aspects, it seems the government is working towards its SME commitment – earlier this month, the Government Digital Service (GDS) published the latest G-Cloud sales figures that revealed 57% of spend was via SMEs.

However, an analysis of local and central government spend published this week has shown that over £10bn of annual government spend goes to just 20 suppliers.




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