How to become a supplier for the public sector
9 November 2016, by Jenny Mulholland
Have you ever wanted to work for the public sector, but didn’t think that as an SME you would have the same opportunities as a large supplier? Softwire’s experience as a software supplier to the public sector has shown us that this is not the case. In this blog post we explore why bespoke software developers, design agencies, cloud product vendors or freelancers should consider working for the public sector.
- Firstly, the Government has a genuine commitment to increase public sector spend with SME’s. The target for 2020 is 33% * this follows an upward trend of 25% in 2015.
- Even if you have no experience in the public sector this should not detract you from applying. Softwire had little experience in the public sector but we have recently been able to win multiple varied and exciting projects. Experience in the private sector is extremely valid along as long as you can demonstrate your expertise through case studies and testimonials.
- There are procurement portals which list all the current opportunities available. Some good starting points are:
Explore all the frameworks on offer http://ccs-agreements.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/
Freelancers, bespoke providers, cloud product providers and cloud consultants should head to the digital marketplace https://www.digitalmarketplace.service.gov.uk/ and to search for larger digital projects from across the EU: http://ted.europa.eu/TED/misc/chooseLanguage.do=
- In most cases the projects have been scoped and funded in advance of selecting a supplier, mitigating your risk. Requirements and budgets are usually stated upfront allowing you to assess which projects would be a good fit for your organisation and there’s a clear and open process for asking questions.
- The scope and range of public sector work is very diverse. It’s not just local authorities and large public bodies. Public sector includes research institutions, infrastructure providers, regulators and many more.
- There is a strong government directive for digital transformation and you could be working on projects using leading-edge technologies, methodologies and design techniques. The Government Digital Service manual explains and encourages best practice to ensure project success. https://www.gov.uk/service-manual
- Public sector projects have a strong social impact. Through digital transformation the Government wants to push the boundaries of technology to improve and make public services more effective and efficient.
- The government mystery shopper portal ensures that the procurement process is fair to SME’s. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/mystery-shopper-results-2016
- techUK works with the Government on behalf of the industry and is an advocate for the needs of small and medium sized tech companies.
- With the Government digital transformation budget expected to be around £1.8bn next year – what are you waiting for?