Public sector starts sharing the ICT spoils

A recent report by industry analysts TechMarketView indicates that SMEs are beginning to outperform leading IT suppliers in the delivery of government contracts and services. 

Asian ICT companies like TCS and HCL have seen their public sector revenues grow by circa 25% in the last two years.

Mid-level providers such as Dell and Computacenter have also reported public sector revenues up by eight and seven percent respectively, with smaller software firms have also reporting strong growth in the public sector too.

While UK public sector IT revenues fell by a modest 0.3 percent as a whole, the leading 20 suppliers’ revenues in this sector actually fell by almost 2 percent.

A leading TechMarketView analyst commented: “Middle-ranking players just outside the top 20 are now outperforming the leading suppliers”.

Against the backdrop on overall decline, the report noted that Capita bucked the trend amongst the heavy hitters, with an impressive 11 percent rise in sector revenue to £1.6 billion. This now comfortably positions Capita as the UK's biggest IT provider to the public sector, beating HP into second place due to a 10 percent drop  in like-for-like revenue to £1.5 billion.

Other leading IT suppliers such as Capgemini and Fujitsu also took a considerable slice of the pie, 1 billion and 889 million respectively, with BT, IBM, Atos, Serco, Microsoft, CGI, Steria and Oracle making up the rankings in declining order by revenue.

Notable commercial wins for Capita in the last 12 months include the Scottish Wide Area Network, a major contract with Transport for London and a Cabinet Office joint venture called Axelos.

This has been underpinned by major local government contracts in Birmingham, Barnet and West Sussex.

HP has ultimately suffered as a result of its over-reliance on central government contracts accounting for 93 percent of its public sector revenues. Unsurprisingly it is the IT supplier most effected by the Cabinet Office’s policy decision to break major legacy IT outsourcing contracts into bite-sized contracts with a multitude of providers.

Of the top 20 companies, 12 reported declines in their revenues for the last financial year, averaging at a drop of two percent. 

Aside from HP, the firms that experienced the sharpest declines were:

- RM (8%), CGI (7%), Capgemini and Steria (6%).

Suppliers who have managed to increase their public sector IT revenue include:

- Atos (4%), Serco (1%), Microsoft (1%), Lockheed Martin (4%) and Northgate (7%).

The list also includes a new entrant – Agilisys- which earned £136 million from the public sector last year. Notable deals include a £5.7 million contract with the Legal Aid Agency and an agreement in partnership with BT to provide ICT services to the London tri-borough authorities.

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