An expert specialising in supplying contracting IT professionals to public sector bodies (PSBs) has warned Government organisations not to respond to Brexit uncertainties by merely renewing existing IT contracts to large suppliers.
Dave Aspindle, Head of Public Sector at managed IT services provider Littlefish, responded to recent reports that the Government is likely to react to Brexit and new public sector IR35 complexities by re-awarding contracts for its Digital Transformation Strategy to large, sluggish and costly IT outsourcers despite the fact that such an approach defied earlier Government policy, which advocated the disaggregation (breaking up) of such monumental contracts in favour of smaller, more agile suppliers.
Writing for BusinessComputingWorld, Mr Aspindle said that Brexit makes the need for agility and flexibility in digital transformation projects more, not less, crucial.
Many Government departments, he noted, have already adopted this small-scale approach of recruiting independent contracting professionals to undertake the transformational work rather than gigantic corporate suppliers. This is an approach that is proving successful.
Mr Aspindle wrote: “We are witnessing a plethora of Government organisations starting to deliver the agility required to enable the transformational change mandated to them. Multi-sourcing or disaggregation achieves the combined goals of insourcing control, lowering cost and enabling change. Historic England is a recent prime exemplar of this.
“Today, there are a multitude of procurement frameworks – such as Technology Services (RM1058) and the Digital Marketplace – that support the disaggregated approach. Users can now procure the component services that used to make up the monolithic, inflexible, expensive, energy-sapping, single-source IT service contracts.”
The key to the success of the Government’s Digital Strategy, he explained, is the Service Integration and Management (SIAM) policy, which was designed to help “break the stranglehold” that big corporate suppliers had on the Government and the wider industry.
Many Government departments have been adopting the SIAM approach and were well on the way to disaggregating huge, monolithic outsourced contracts in favour of multi-sourcing, meaning that smaller suppliers such as individual IT contractors, who are known to be far more responsive and agile. took on transformational work.
Mr Aspindle described reports that Government departments are planning to revert to older defaults, sticking to what they know, and taking what illusorily appears to be the easy road as “hugely disappointing.”
Yet, this isn’t an inevitability: many departments also know that they’ve made measurable progress in transformational projects by transitioning from huge, single-sourced monolithic relationships.
He concluded by urging Government departments not to use Brexit as an excuse for not extracting the best value from their supply chains. Disaggregated multi-sourcing, he said, is already delivering agility flexibility and innovation in IT service delivery. Rolling over on existing IT contracts puts all this in jeopardy.