Large system integrators run UK IT oligopoly

Office_of_Fair_TradingInfrastructure outfit Databarracks claims that there is a large systems integrator oligopoly which needs to be exposed by an Office of Fair Trading’s (OFT) government IT procurement investigation.

The investigation into the antics of the big government systems integrators has been announced by the OFT and welcomed by Peter Groucutt, Managing Director at Databarracks.

Groucutt, MD at Databarracks, has urged all sides to ensure that this is the end of the domination of large system integrators.

He said that the top 20 IT suppliers to Government earn £10.4 billion a year in revenue and are continuing to dominate the market.

“Given this apparent oligopoly and the propensity for large long-term contracts, the OFT is keen to ensure that the competition is healthy to allow for costs cutting, improved efficiency and increased innovation,” Groucutt said.

The OFT wants suppliers and purchasers to get in touch to discuss their experiences and Groucutt believes all parties should wade in.

He said that those involved in the procurement process need to participate and be honest in this process if there is going to be an end to the domination of a few big players in the market.

Groucutt said it’s important to ensure the taxpayer is getting the best deal, that government departments are receiving the best value and most innovative kit.

“The only way I can see this happening is ending the current oligopoly,” he said.

The current cumbersome tender process pushes government departments into the arms of the larger SIs as it is so difficult for smaller players to get accreditation or have the opportunity to sell to the public sector.