Nee-naw services dash to outsource
On the day that Lincolnshire police announced a £200m deal to transfer an unprecedented number of services to a private contractor, market researchers have predicted a boom in outsourcing business from blue-light services.
A report by Pierre Audoin Consultants predicts that UK emergency services organisations will commit to outsourcing and shared services ventures worth more than £1bn in the next two years. The report cites a 'perfect storm' of unprecedented cost pressure and the need to protect and modernise front line services.
Shared services and outsourcing, which in the past were much talked about but infrequently implemented due to political barriers, are "now firmly on the agenda", said Dominic Trott, public sector consultant. This applies even to IT functions previously considered too "mission-critical" to hand over to third parties, he said.
Pierre Audoin Consultants' report 'Emergency Services - Delivering IT Services in the Perfect Storm' includes data on the current future scale of software and IT services spending in this sector, as well as a breakdown of forthcoming contract opportunities and the supplier landscape.
The report appears on the day that Lincolnshire Police Authority made headlines by signing off a 10-year IT, business process and support services contract with G4S. The company was awarded the preferred supplier status in the £200m deal in December in partnership with Capgemini, against competition from Steria.
Technology analyst TechMarketView said the authority's ability to conduct the tender in 11 months was "very encouraging for future deals in the public sector, and police in particular". Ten other police authorities have expressed interest in joining the shared services scheme.