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Public Sector IT: Aligned to innovation

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If you’d asked me ten years ago to ‘future-gaze’ and map out how the public sector IT landscape would change in the following decade, I don’t think I’d even have got close to what has actually happened. Would any of us? Let’s face it, it’s changed beyond all recognition in supply terms. It didn’t matter how loudly we banged on the door back then, it wasn’t going to open for an SME like us. But just look at us now: millions of pounds of IT services are being successfully delivered across government, academia and the NHS by those previously disbarred SMEs.

You can see some of the obvious drivers behind this happy – if unpredicted – state of affairs, from the Global Financial Crisis throwing best value and austerity into real focus to practical help measures like the G-Cloud Cloudstore. But perhaps the most fascinating is the spirit of innovation that is spreading through the public sector. Despite many a failed ‘big ticket’ IT project that was so common in the 90s and noughties, there’s a resilience about government IT thinking that should be applauded. Because we’re all now seeing the fruits of a sector still determined to leverage technology for state gains and citizen benefit.

As taxpayers we’d certainly support an initiative like the Public Service Network that aims to substantially reduce the cost of communication services across UK government. And as consumers, we’re very happy to take advantage of those incremental IT-driven improvements that are popping up everywhere – from online Passport applications to the new electronic car tax to web-based prescription ordering.

But if it’s exciting times for government IT, then there’s pressure on those newly enfranchised SMEs like Redcentric. Increased demand, a greater dependence on the quality and resilience of a service as more of the population become invested in it, escalating security safeguards, more speed, more capacity, more storage, everything is being ramped up, and suppliers have to be able to deliver in a measured, sustained and scalable way.

With Redcentric having acquired InTechnology Managed Services in November 2013, our track record in public sector IT goes back over 15 years. We have been Janet and N3 connected for over a decade, we support and host several CNI projects, we’re an approved G-Cloud 5 supplier, have ISO9001 and 27001 certification and can boast a long list of government security accreditations. But there are others who can put an impressive ‘CV’ together too. Where Redcentric looks to differentiate itself is through a clear strategy that aligns not only with government requirements but requirements we make of ourselves. So we want to deliver solutions and services through innovation; to deliver against cost constraints but not at the expense of the quality or features of our services; and provide citizen, patient and taxpayer benefit through value-led access to progressive systems now and in the future.

We consider ourselves a sector specialist. We’re a committed member of the PSNGB; we’re actively engaged within the PSN and PSNH programs; and we’re continually looking at ways of tailoring our public sector offerings to ensure solutions adapt to meet longer-term strategies. So yes, there’ll be pressure, but I also predict that we can handle it.

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