TechMarketView says UK Government IT still dominated by the big firms

I got a sneaky view of an excellent report the other day – the TechMarketView UK Public Sector Supplier Landscape 2012/13. This is a paid-for, subscriber only report, which is understandable as it contains some very good research and analysis. (See that link for more details and how to subscribe).

It looks at the major IT suppliers to the UK Government in 2012, with a detailed analysis of the top 20, and comments on others who are also interesting or up and coming. The authors clearly understand their market, and there is insight into current and upcoming IT procurement projects and the firms’ strategies.

What immediately strikes the reader – and the authors discuss this at length – is how little has changed in the last couple of years. Despite all the words from Cabinet Office in particular, the top 20 hasn’t changed at all from last year apparently, with only some minor ups and downs in the chart. However, the lead of the very largest suppliers over the rest of the pack is diminishing slightly – maybe an effect of public organisations going for fewer mega-contracts and instead looking to carve up requirement into somewhat smaller lots, towers or tranches.

However, this isn’t going as far as introducing really small firms into the mix. When we look at the billions that HP, Capita, Cap Gemini, IBM and co are still getting in revenues from the public sector, the £4 million or so that went through the G-Cloud store last year does appear somewhat insignificant. That’s not to say the store isn’t a worthwhile initiative, but the numbers put its importance into perspective.

The report also comments on what it calls a “strained” relationship between Cabinet Office and the top IT suppliers. “Some corners” of the Cabinet Office are pursuing an anti-large IT firm agenda – yet these very companies still run most of government’s huge IT infrastructure, and will continue to do so for some time.

That’s actually a wider supplier management challenge than purely in this context actually. The situation of having a large and / or important supplier, but one who you feel you would ideally like to be less large and / or important, is faced by many organisations and procurement people. How do you keep them motivated and performing? Do you keep quiet about your longer term intentions or is it better to be honest?

Clearly, it’s too late for government to try the "keep quiet" strategy as we’ve had Bill Crothers, Government CPO, and others talking about big suppliers ripping government off and Liam Maxwell , Government CTO, proposing cloud and SMEs for pretty much everything...

But there are obvious dangers in terms of how the large suppliers react to this treatment, particularly as the excellent TechMarketView report shows that they’re likely to be around for a long time yet!  Watch this space...

 

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