Big commerce, big government

There are some great things going on across the North East region these days, especially in tech.  If you have been reading this blog or following my Tweets over the last fortnight or so you will know that I seem to have been at an endless stream of conferences and trade shows.  It’s funny how I see the same faces at these things, so much so that at Cobalt Liz from Sunderland jokingly asked how I got any work done.  Of course I could have levelled the same accusation at her.  I did point out that this was work.  What we need to see though is some different faces turning up, some unusual suspects.

But that’s not the tale I want to tell.  I want to talk about procurement again.  As I said, there are some great things going on.  There is some exciting stuff around the huge potential in getting big commerce to work together with big government.  Both bring enormous resources, people, money, information and expertise to bear on issues that are affecting the population on a macro scale.

We need more of it yet to get commerce and the public sectors to work together can often require a large procurement exercise which is set out in such a way to allow for all futures.  Now nobody can really tell the future and it appears that many of the relationship that are creating innovation are based around much more mundane procurements.  Parts of services have been outsourced and the original bidder has been purchased by a larger fish and bought again by an even larger fish.  The solution to a much smaller problem has led to an opportunity to work more closely together.  Sometime it is just a fortuitous outcome of a relationship that was never envisaged.

And therein lies the problem, or the opportunity.  To be able to work with large corporates you have to buy something when indeed what you really need is to bring ideas to the table.  How do we access the huge joint talent pool without buying something we may not need or give away the family silver?  As yet I don’t have an answer.

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