Resellers need to adopt advisory roles to take advantage of future public-sector IT spending, analyst Ovum has warned.
The UK public-sector software and IT services (S/ITS) market will grow by an average of 9.5 per cent between 2004 and 2008, while the private-sector S/ITS market will increase by just 3.9 per cent, according to Ovum.
Georgina O'Toole, senior analyst at Ovum, said: "There will not be a huge number of mega deals signed in public-sector IT in the next few years. Resellers need to position themselves in advisory roles so they are well-placed when new spending begins."
Health is the fastest-growing sector, driven by the National Programme for IT. Meanwhile the Criminal Justice sector has not grown as quickly as expected.
O'Toole claimed the Office of Government Commerce's (OGC) efforts to include small firms in public-sector contracts will help.
"The OGC is encouraging SMEs to bid for contracts. They have a good opportunity to fill specialist roles," she said.
Martin Day, an OGC representative, said: "We've tried to break down the barriers to help resellers bid for contracts."
O'Toole predicted a rise in demand for pre-packaged software.
"There is an increasing opportunity for software resellers. The Ministry of Defence is encouraging commercial off-the-shelf spending, rather than buying bespoke products," she said.
Pete Renson, director at local government reseller NRJ Consulting, said: "We used to sell bespoke products but realised we would benefit from selling off-the-shelf. The challenge for resellers will be breaking down the perceived risks associated with off-the-shelf products."
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