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Civil Servants love tech – but not from SMEs

There has been a positive shift in civil servants’ attitudes towards tech over the last 12 months. However, they still don’t buy from a

Julian David, CEO of techUK
Julian David, CEO of techUK

wide enough range of suppliers, warns techUK, the voice of the UK tech industry.

In a survey of 1,500 civil servants by Dods Research, 84% agreed or strongly agreed that tech is critical to delivering their department’s business plan.

The proportion who view tech as an ‘enabler’ rather than merely a ‘necessity’ increased to 31%, from 22% last year. The number who view it as a necessity fell from 76% in 2015 to 67%.

Despite this progress, civil servants have not changed their views on the benefis of broadening their supply base. Only 21% of respondents agree or strongly agree that there is an appetite in their department to procure a higher percentage of technology services from SMEs – the same proportion as in 2015.

Julian David, CEO of techUK, said: “The last twelve months have seen a positive shift in how civil servants see tech. This gives us hope for the future. However, the fidings clearly demonstrate a lack of understanding of the benefis of a broad supply base and the potential for innovative technologies to revolutionise public services, putting the Government’s target to procure 33% of tech from SMEs in jeopardy. We must take a new approach to show, not tell, civil servants how new tech can transform both their working environment and the services they provide.”

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