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Smart IT procurement policies can help protect core public services in 2010

REIGATE, 8 December 2009 – The latest research from Canon UK, which questioned 1,800 senior decision makers across Europe, has revealed that public sector organisations have not been as strict at implementing cost control over the last 12 months compared to their private sector counterparts. More than three quarters (77%) of private sector respondents have cut costs across the business over the last 12 months, compared to only 53% of public sector representatives and 33% of central government decision makers.

  • Research by Canon shows that the public sector still lags behind commercial businesses when it comes to cost cutting

  • Despite budgetary pressures in the public sector, technology investment is on the rise

  • Smart IT procurement and shared services key to delivering ROI and protecting core public services, says Canon

As the public sector faces renewed pressure to deliver greater efficiencies at lower costs, decision makers are now recognising the importance of technology solutions to improve internal processes and reduce costs. Almost half (43%) of public sector organisations are considering investing in IT over the next 12 months.  A third of these organisations are also looking to outsource key IT processes to improve efficiency and to focus on core operations, compared to only 16% in the private sector. 

However, there still seems to be a lack of understanding about the best way to implement new IT solutions. Only 30% of public sector organisations see the benefit in automating common processes and processes and only just over half (57%) think it is important to be able to integrate new technologies into existing IT infrastructures, compared to 70% in the private sector. Worryingly only 30% of organisations are looking to invest in improved public services – perhaps a reflection of the tight budget pressures they are under. 

Bob Pickles, Director of public sector Business Development & Public Affairs, Canon UK & Ireland said: “Technology solutions will have a key role to play in driving down long-term costs in the public sector, but a clear strategy is required in order to deliver maximum ROI and to maintain the delivery of core services. Smart investment in IT can not only ensure that public services are not sacrificed but can even enable further investment.  For example, implementing shared services across different organisations within the public sector can deliver increased efficiencies and improve employee experience and performance by standardising and consolidating service provision. It can also provide additional opportunities for investment in new IT systems to further improve operations, which may not have been otherwise affordable.”

“One example of a very progressive public sector organisation is Fife Council in Scotland. Through its partnership with Canon, Fife has implemented a print management strategy across several departments of 22,000 people, which will generate savings of up to £1.4m over five years. With such large savings, there is a tangible return on investment that can be pumped straight back into delivering public services. For instance, a saving of £1.4m is the equivalent of more than 93 social workers' basic salaries*” continued Bob Pickles.

* Based on 2008/9 local government earnings survey, http://www.lga.gov.uk

 Statistics taken from Canon Europe Research into Business Adaptability, 2009.

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