A National Audit Office report has revealed that government spend on consultancy had increased again. Robin Pape, Memset's Public Sector Advisor explained why.
The UK Government is going through a fundamental change in the way it manages and procures its IT from the old high level outsourcing, where large suppliers were responsible for everything - designing, building, implementing and managing solutions, to the new approach using a wider range of suppliers to provide commodity services in the cloud with overall design, control, management and sometime development being carried out in-house.
This new model requires a range of capabilities which government simply does not have, so they either have to recruit new permanent staff or take on consultants and contractors.
But it takes time to recruit permanent staff, and the packages which government can offer do not match market rates for many skills, so inevitably more consultancy and contracting will be required if the move to the new cloud-based digital world is to progress.
It is not necessarily a bad thing for government to be using more consultancy, at least in the short-term while it tries to recruit the in-house skills it needs.
As an SME supplying government with infrastructure as a service solutions, if anything the investment in consultancy services is an indicator that more government organisations are embracing change.