back to article Small biz isn't finding it any easier to bag govt IT contracts

Smaller businesses are still finding it tough to win government IT contracts, with just six per cent of SMEs reckoning they can more easily sign on the dotted line in the last two years. Fujitsu has said that a survey of 500 SMEs in Blighty found that half of them reckoned there had been no change in their ability to win …


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Anonymous Coward

It's all about arse covering

Say, for example, that Fujitsu is absolutely brilliant at doing something, like building a particular sort of widget.

(ok, stay with me on this)

That brilliance comes from the people who work for it.

Now, imagine the best of those people leave and start up a new company, to build widgets.

What is the chance of that new company winning a widget-supply bid against Fujitsu, whose best and brightest have just walked out the door?


Why? Because procurement cares more about perceived financial risks (e.g. supplier going out of business or getting bought out and losing interest) than it does about all other classes of risk, namely:

- The widgets are crap

- The widgets are late

- The widgets cost a fortune

You might argue that a small supplier going bust and taking expertise with them (e.g. how the widget works) is a very bad thing, because widgets are complex and difficult to understand.

In which case you would see public sector widget projects focusing continuously on managing key man risks, code clarity, documentation standards, and complexity management.

But they don't, because that is "hard". Instead, they pay a large company a large amount of money to build complex, badly documented crap and with the idea that they can withhold payment or sue them when it goes wrong.

Good luck with that.



Is this really surprising

When the government passes everything over to 'facilities management companies', who do you think the jobs will go to? Their boys or yours?

SME's in the UK have as much chance at getting a bite out of the apple as a dead wasp.

Only the shi* that falls from the tree is offered because no one else wants it.


Re: It's all about arse covering

'Instead, they pay a large company a large amount of money to build complex, badly documented crap and with the idea that they can withhold payment or sue them when it goes wrong.'

Forgetting that it's the business model of these companies to write crap software but completely bombproof contracts.

Anonymous Coward

Re: Is this really surprising

My experience as a small SME that sometimes contracts for the big boys on very big government contracts. You get called in when it's all gone to s*** to fix it and on a £20M project they give you 5 days to sort it and then have the nerve to complain they can't make a margin on your rates.


Re: It's all about arse covering or as they might say Risk Management

With so many Govt Contracts..............

1. going spectacularly wrong

2. going over budget

3. failing to deliver

4. delayed

5. offering poor or no real value

cant wait for HS2 as the lord god Client Eatswood would say "its a cluster feck" in the making

money better spent on airport capacity inline with the Govt mantra that our economy will only grow through export to emerging economies................ something that they appear to have forgotten about.


Re: Is this really surprising

To which I hope your response is................

Well if you did they job properly first time you would not need my services.

closely followed by.................

24/7 emergency plumbers charge extra for such services, thats the business I am in.

and closed by......................

well do ya what me to fix your mess and help you keep your customer without paying penalty fee's or what?

Nice darts mate

Anonymous Coward

Subcontracting is the obvious cop out

The mood music is changing and both government and big primes have hit on the obvious cop out and are starting to brief on this.

Government mandates 25% SME subcontracting in all prime contracts.

Prime contractor designates Contract recruitment agencies as SMEs

25% goes to contract agencies (probably already more than this does anyway on any contract I've seen)

Government trumpets targets hit

Big Primes laud their CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility)

Status Quo maintained

Trebles all around

Meanwhile SMEs trade in the real world with real customers.

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