Yet more public-sector cash could trickle down into resellers' pockets after Sir Nigel Crisp, chief executive of the NHS, said he will use the organisation's next planning round to secure more funds for IT in local healthcare.
An increased focus on IT could be significant as the NHS spent a massive £63.8bn in total last year, with a relatively modest £140m believed to be on IT. This does not take into account the £6bn on the National Programme for IT (NPfIT).
In a report, Crisp wrote: "We need to use the forthcoming planning round to give local staff and organisations more control of resources and support with both IT and facilities." The planning round is set for the autumn.
As the channel works on sub-contracts with many local health organisations, the move would be a huge boost, particularly as the system recently was criticised by a former senior NHS executive.
Dr Peter Hutton, ex-head of the National Clinical Advisory Board, said the number of local suppliers involved in the NPfIT could damage the organisation's efforts to establish common user interfaces across the regions.
But the NHS told CRN it is committed to using smaller, localised suppliers for its IT scheme.
A representative for the NPfIT said: "There is a recognition that much of the activity and systems will come from SME suppliers, so the NPfIT, through its Industry Liaison team, is providing advice as to how SME suppliers should engage with contracted suppliers."
Des Lekerman, managing director of VAR Eurodata Systems, said sales into local NHS organisations are picking up as they upgrade systems for the NPfIT.
"They are starting to understand how IT can increase efficiency. It is becoming an integral part of strategies," he said. "If the chief executive of one of the biggest organisations in the world says more IT is needed it is good news for suppliers that provide both systems and services."
Telco also announced series of initiatives to drive digital growth in the UK
Nana Baffour opens up on Getronics' mammoth acquisition of Pomeroy
Analyst predicts SaaS will remain the dominant segment in the market as it grows 17 per cent in 2019
NSS Labs claims vendors are refusing to have their products tested effectively and are trying to restrict its access