But in the meantime, I'd like to welcome my Spend Matters UK/Europe counterpart, Peter Smith, back to the Spend Matters mother ship to tackle the issue of public sector procurement. In a series of four posts that will begin later today, Peter will take a comparative look at UK and US public sector procurement practices. I've asked him to offer a candid take on how he believes each country currently stacks up with an emphasis on what the UK appears to be doing right. But of course Peter will also take a critical eye to what his former civil servant colleagues are up to.
As work piles up in the New Year, Peter graciously volunteered to put pen to paper on this topic for me, and for this I am grateful and have told him the next pint in London in February is on my P&L, not his (in the US, if we were in the public sector on the Federal level, we'd legally have to pick up our own tabs, mind you). As you read his commentary, you'll notice how much easier it is for innovative technology companies to break into the UK government relative to the US. Perhaps its just my own experience and observation (I've only worked on a single public sector technology selection/analysis in recent years), but I'd argue that upstart solution providers, which very well may have the best tools for the job, are at a significant disadvantage in the US unless they know all the tricks of the trade in working the system through contacts and partners. And even then, the big guys maintain a large advantage, as do public sector specialists that often have tools that stack up poorly relative to what private sector organizations use across the source-to-pay lifecycle.
In any event, do let me us know what you think about this look into public sector practices. I have a suspicion this will become a more frequent focus for us in one forum or another later this year.