Growing the local govtech market

  • techUK techUK
    Friday15Mar 2019
    Opinions

    Blog by Georgina Maratheftis, techUK’s Head of Local Public Services as part of our SME Campaign Week #procuring4growth

As part of techUK’s series of events on growing the local government tech market and creating a more diverse digital eco-system, on 12 March we held a speed-networking event to bring together small and large companies to pitch, network and identify business partners with innovative solutions for transforming local public services, from new players to established companies within the local government tech market. 

It was a great opportunity for SMEs to pitch ideas to companies currently providing services to local government, and for large companies to expand the network of SMEs they work with to deliver services in local government.

Before the pitches kicked off it was great to hear from Ricky Morton, Digital and Transformation Adviser of London Borough of Newham, share his insights on how local government engage with suppliers as well as Newham’s transformation journey. Key points included:

  • They are places, not councils. The opportunity is about moving beyond boundaries and focusing on outcomes. The technology doesn’t have to engage with the council, it needs to serve the citizen.
  • Councils are looking to do things differently.
  • Suppliers need to understand appetite and ambition of councils.
  • More councils are taking design led approach.
  • Pre-procurement engagement is important, to help inform the direction of travel.
  • When selling to local government focus on the outcomes, not the features of the technology.
  • The Digital Marketplace is a valuable framework for suppliers to use to sell in to government.

Ricky highlighted the importance of ‘place’ in his talk and as more and more local public services are too, techUK is holding an event on the 27 March and a week of guest blogs on where the tech sector can be involved, add value and support the transformation into a place based approach to business as usual. To get involved in this contact Georgina Maratheftis.

Once we heard from Ricky the floor was opened for the 2-minute pitches. We heard from a range of suppliers, large and small, active and new to the market. After the pitches were done networking continued over drinks and nibbles, where hopefully new business partnerships were formed.

Local government is an innovative market and often leading the way in adoption of new technologies across the public sector. For example, even though AI is still a rather nascent market for public sector, local government is leading the way in its adoption and understanding of its value in transforming services for citizens. Aylesbury Vale and Enfield Council are good examples of this. However, it can still be a complex market for SMEs to enter so we hope events such as these will help them get a foot in the door via a partnership approach.

If you attended the event, please do share your thoughts using @techUK and #techUK

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