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PDMS: The E factor!
Chris Gledhill explains why when it comes to successfully delivering tech projects bigger is not necessarily better and that SMEs can deliver technical excellence and cost-effectiveness.
For the last seven years or so I have been involved in various councils and committees at TechUK as an elected representative of the SME community, and sometimes it feels as though we are making very slow progress. In an ideal world, I would not be sitting here writing a blog post seeking, yet again, to promote the benefits of working with SMEs…
It's frustrating that in 2022 we still need policy directives, or quotas, or any other artificial mechanism to encourage people to procure technology solutions from the organisations best equipped to provide them.
So, in a last-ditch effort to salvage the situation and regain some dignity, here are some simple facts based on the last 30 years or so, that I have worked in the tech sector with companies and clients both large and small. SMEs are usually defined as companies with fewer than 250 employees and a turnover of less than £50M - in other words, the vast majority of UK tech companies. SME does not mean Startup, nor does it mean new or unproven and it certainly doesn’t mean financially insecure or inexperienced. In fact, the opposite is often true, and this is the first point I want to make; SMEs cannot and should not be lumped together with a particular set of common attributes. A well-established SME, and there are a great many of us, is probably just at an optimum size to deliver the services it offers, competitively.
Which leads me to the second point, size matters but bigger is not necessarily better. In a competitive market with well-established companies, the E (in SME) doesn’t just stand for Enterprise, it could equally mean Efficiency, Economy or Expertise. Most businesses don’t start in the Dragons Den, they are built and sustained within their own resources and grow organically based on their technical excellence, cost effectiveness and great customer service. This is how a market economy works and we are the backbone of that economy. I would contend that for a great number of tech projects, which are not pure commodity procurements, the best supplier is almost certainly an SME.
So why do some organisations find it so difficult to engage with our vibrant Tech sector (which is where you will find us SMEs). Well, I find this quite a hard question to answer politely, but it is rarely difficult for those who can articulate the outcomes they want and value trust and efficiency over complex contracts. Learn more about, Chris here.
To read more from #techUKDigitalPS Week, check out our landing page here.
Chris Gledhill, Chief Executive Officer, PDMS and active member of techUK's Central Government Council, with more than 25 years experience in Enterprise IT, Chris is very passionate about understanding the benefits that organisations and individuals can achieve through good software engineering. Chris' particular interest and expertise lies in the challenges faced by all parties in managing the risks and costs associated with complex ICT projects. At PDMS, Chris focuses on Transformation and Partnership, 'building what their customers need and support it for as long as they want them too'. To learn more about Chris, please connect with him via LinkedIn.
On Tuesday 5 April, techUK was delighted to host the Cabinet Office and industry representatives for the launch event for the UK Government’s Digital, Data and Technology Sourcing Playbook which was published on 28 March 2022. The DDaT Sourcing Playbook sets out guidance – in one place – as to how digital projects and programmes are assessed, procured and delivered in central government departments, arms-length bodies and the wider public sector. Through the application of what is commercial best practice, the Playbook addresses 11 key policies and six cross-cutting priorities that will ensure government gets things right from the start when it comes to procurement.
You can watch the recording of the launch event in full here:
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