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IT and Communications in Healthcare – IT Services in the Public Sector

Siemens IT Solutions And Services : 21 April, 2011  (Special Report)
FOCUS ZONE REPORT - A poll of public sector managers by Siemens IT Solutions and Services reports that enhancing relationships with the private sector and looking at the end outcomes of projects rather than at rules-based procurement represent the emerging mindsets inside local authorities, central government, health and justice departments (Ref 1).
The insight gained at the recent Public Sector Efficiency Expo also suggests three key themes on how procurement can shift from a traditional rules focus to a more solutions led approach:

- enhancing relationships with the private sector (35 percent);

- increasing the focus on outcomes rather than individual targets (25 percent);

- simplifying procurement legislation (22 percent).

Respondents called for public sector organisations to be less target and framework driven and more service-user oriented. Qualitative opinions suggested that in order to achieve this, public sector staff and in particular managers needed to be increasingly focused on end-goals. It was suggested that collaboration between the private and public sector needed to be seen as a genuine, transparent partnership rather than a simple business contract: with the need for more face-to-face contact to develop and strengthen relationships. In order to create further efficiencies, managers emphasised the need to move away from process-focused transactions and towards value-based outcomes where objectives are fully understood, pathways explored and risks identified.

The role of ICT and service delivery collaboration and their potential to create further public sector efficiencies was also explored. The majority of survey participants saw the most opportunity in consolidating and sharing common resources (32 percent) with other benefits anticipated in reducing administrative, back office and procurement costs (26 percent) and as a driver for improved service delivery (24 percent).

“Innovative technologies and collaborative working methodologies will be vital to the success of future public service delivery. Industry must lead in its understanding of this as the dynamics of pure procurement transactions move towards an outcome and solution based-focus,” said Nick Sawbridge, Head of Public Sector Sales at Siemens IT Solutions and Services. “There are very real bottom-line considerations in championing collaboration as an enabler of efficiency - inclusive relationships at the start of projects or commercial engagement saves time, resources and expenditure further down the line. We also welcome the Cabinet Office's statement, in announcing the appointment of Crown Commercial Representatives who will oversee the relationships held by suppliers with a range of Departments, that Ďany dealings with our big suppliers have to be coordinated and our approach has to be strategic’. A more joined-up approach all round has to be the right way forward.”

Siemens IT Solutions and Services works collaboratively with National Savings and Investments (NS and I), Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) and Welsh Assembly Government to deliver long-term outsourced partnerships.

Ref 1 - Face to face questionnaire to over 100 delegates at the Public Sector Efficiency Expo, Business Design Centre, London, 16th March 2011.
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