This is an excerpt from Australia’s Business Challenges 2017 — a comprehensive must-read e-book for small business owners brought to you by Bank of Queensland. Scroll down to download a copy.
It’s been a while since we relied on monochrome mainframes that took up entire rooms to get some simple processing done.
But if the popular vision of government processes and bureaucracy remains somewhat similar, you may have thought getting access to tenders was too locked down or laborious to even consider wasting time or effort on as a small business.
But going the way of the blinking dials and spooling tape is the old way of securing contracts, with an overhaul of the government tendering process aimed at making it possible for smaller technology companies, among others, to compete with the established industry players for service contacts.
Overall government contracts in information and communications technology (ICT) are worth as much as $9 billion annually and the plan is to funnel 10 per cent – or $900 million – towards entrepreneurial tech suppliers.
It’s part of the federal government’s ongoing National Innovation and Science Agenda to help drive future productivity and take advantage of opportunities in the ever-changing digital landscape.
In being a better customer, the government is hoping it can foster more innovative companies and transform the local tech ecosystem.
Along with smaller, more agile businesses will come opportunities for shorter, innovative projects which are easier to manage on this scale. Instead of taking years, these may be months for instance.
It’s appropriate that such a scheme is being run online through what is known as the Digital Marketplace, launched last year by the Department of Industry’s Digital Transformation Agency (DTA).
It draws on ideas and software from the UK digital marketplace service and replaces the old method of referring to “panels” of preselected suppliers.
The culture of startups in Australia and elsewhere is anything but lumbering and the change will add new players to a market traditionally dominated by blue-chip global tech companies.
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