Articles about Procurement

whitehall_648's promise to pour cash into SMEs was just hot air

Analysis Every government has always claimed to be the friend of SMEs – and with 5.2 million of them in the UK it makes an easy vote winner. But promising to do more business with smaller providers and handing over cold, hard cash are two very different things. Earlier this month the National Audit Office reported that what little …
Kat Hall, 31 May 2016
50 of your British pounds. Photo by Shutterstock preparing to lob up to £4bn at commodity tech

The government’s official procurement arm, Crown Commercial Services, has coughed the contract notice for a multi-year mega framework for commodity tech valued between £2bn and £4bn. The Technology Products 2 buying vehicle is set to go live in November, replacing the previous iteration, which launched in the same month back …
Paul Kunert, 24 May 2016

When should you bin that old mainframe? Infrastructure 101

It's very easy to forget that buying kit for your infrastructure is just the first step on a long, long road. It's also easy to forget that everyone keeps their infrastructure kit going for years longer than their accountants depreciate it: we've all got something in the comms room that's still clinging to life. And this is …
Dave Cartwright, 31 Mar 2016
Amazon box tipped over, propped against doorframe. Photo by Jeramey Lende via Shutterstock

Buying gov.UK kit via price-comparison digital portal could 'save £10bn'

The government could save up to £10bn per year if it were to create an "Amazon-like" procurement portal for all its purchases, similar to the underused G-Cloud, according to a think tank report. Amazon box tipped over, propped against doorframe.Photo by Jeramey Lende via Shutterstock Er, ID Smith? Your server arrived! Upside …
Kat Hall, 7 Mar 2016

Ever been burned by a bad IT decision? Of course you have!

There’s a great quote from the movie Armageddon: “You know we're sitting on four million pounds of fuel, one nuclear weapon and a thing that has 270,000 moving parts built by the lowest bidder. Makes you feel good, doesn't it?”. This line, delivered by Steve Buscemi (a.k.a. ‘Rockhound’), as the crew of press-ganged astronauts …
Dale Vile, 5 Oct 2015
Speedy Gonzales surrounded by cheese

Behind the curve: How not to be a technology laggard

I came across a wonderful term the other day: the “technical laggard”. I hadn't actually realised that this was an accepted term that's in (reasonably) wide usage – turns out it's the name given to people at the opposite end of the technology take-up spectrum from the early adopters. Although I've worked for, and with, largely …
Dusty fan vent

Penny wise and pound foolish: Server hoarders are energy wasters

Sysadmin blog This summer was particularly bad for western Canada, where I live. Electricity costs are soaring and the datacenter air conditioners were going 24 hours a day. There has to be a way to be more efficient. My power bill at home is $250 most months. This is with over half the equipment in my lab out on customer sites for testing …
Trevor Pott, 24 Sep 2015
Funnel of cash. Credit: via SXC –

Cut-throat cloud pricing not as cut-throat as you'd think

Cloud providers have taken a leaf out of the budget airlines playbook, with what looks like a suicidal price war masking static pricing on the added value services that customers actually need to run real businesses. But while overall cloud costs are not plunging anywhere near as precipitously as headlines might have you …
Joe Fay, 22 Jul 2015
Graph of US dollar going up CC 2.0

Surging US dollar curbs global IT budgets

Global IT spending is projected to fall 5.5 per cent to total $3.5tn in 2015 - but only because of the strong US dollar. Translated into constant currency, the worldwide IT market will grow 2.5 per cent compared with 2014, according to Gartner’s latest IT spending projections. So will US vendors raise prices outside their own …
Drew Cullen, 30 Jun 2015
two human shadows

Rogue IT is shadow of its former self

“Rogue IT” - the practice of business units secretly sidestepping the IT department to procure their own tech - is in decline. But only because business units are now openly buying their own technology solutions, this time in collaboration with their counterparts in IT. The findings, reported in the June 2015 CompTIA study …
Drew Cullen, 29 Jun 2015
Newton's Cradle with balls tangled

You need one cloud computing provider - and this is why

Around the turn of the new century some of the larger businesses started to look at the IT systems they had in place, and started to consider if they were strictly core to the business. Did they really need a data centre? While a brave few started to outsource some of their equipment, most decided that yes they did need a data …
Marcus Austin, 12 Jun 2015

SME IT contracts? That's the last thing Whitehall wants – report

Government departments are unenthusiastic about funneling more of their IT biz through SMEs, according to a survey of nearly 1,000 central government IT bods. Only 20 per cent said there is an appetite within their department to procure a higher percentage of technology services from SMEs, found the research from IT trade body …
Kat Hall, 27 May 2015

Watch out for the products that have snuck in behind your back

The mention of shadow IT can produce beads of sweat on the brow of any knowledgeable IT staff member. For those who do not know, the term covers any company systems and services that are not procured by the IT department. The toil and trouble of a single shadow IT occurrence can cause a headache that sticks with the company …
Adam Fowler, 24 Apr 2015
Gun and dollars

Microsoft: You want on-prem wares, We'll make you pay

Government departments will pay up to 47 per cent more for the pleasure of using Microsoft desktop software under a volume licensing programme that is months away from launch. The latest Public Sector Agreement (PSA ’12) between Microsoft and Crown Commercial Services is set to expire on 30 April, and will not be replaced with …
Paul Kunert, 24 Feb 2015
still from famous UK '80s political comedy Yes Minister

£100 MILLION poured down drain on failed IT projects - in just ONE YEAR

Whitehall mandarins have wasted more than £100m on failed or cancelled IT projects in the last 12 months. That’s according to the Taxpayers’ Alliance, which has collated losses across all departments for 2013 – 2014. The Alliance uncovered £107m lost as projects were scrapped, gains weren’t realized or unnecessary costs were …
Gavin Clarke, 16 Feb 2015

Crims at vendors could crock kit says ENISA

Before you sign on the dotted line to acquire some kit or sign up a service provider, ask the vendor you're considering if any of their staff have criminal records. That's just one of many, many, suggestions made by the European Union Agency for Network and Information Security (ENISA), in a new guide to Secure ICT Procurement …
Simon Sharwood, 11 Dec 2014 launches one kit-buying framework to rule them all today opened its long-awaited Digital Marketplace for public sector procurement, which will bring the “confusing” number of frameworks under one roof. As yet the Marketplace is looking rather lonely, with the G-Cloud the only framework on the platform. The next version of the Digital Services framework for “agile” …
Kat Hall, 6 Nov 2014

Still no start date for’s £6bn Tech Products contract

The Cabinet Office has confirmed the line-up of suppliers for the latest pan-public sector mega framework, but is unable to provide a start date nearly a year after the contract notice was first published. “We are pleased to announce that the Technology Products agreement has been awarded. We will share further information on …
Paul Kunert, 4 Nov 2014

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