The government has spent £1.2 billion with SMEs for cloud and digital services since 2012, according to the latest figures from the Cabinet Office and Government Digital Service.
Public sector spend on storage and IT support totalled £2.6 billion over the same period, meaning that about £1.39 in every £3 was spent with small- and medium-sized businesses.
The figures include spending by organisations including central government departments, local authorities and the NHS through the government’s Digital Marketplace.
The government said this system has helped the Crown Commercial Service to save £725 million in taxpayers’ money during the 2016/17 financial year.
Derby City Council, for example, was able to save thousands of pounds by switching its suppliers from a large multinational company to Stafford-based SME.
“Small businesses have an important role to play in helping government to spend taxpayers’ money wisely,” said government resilience and efficiency minister Caroline Nokes. “That is why we continue to find ways of improving how the public sector – schools and hospitals, for example – puts money back into services for those they look after.
“The money saved in Derby is a good example of how smart procurement can make a real difference to people’s lives.”
The government said it is committed to further building its ties with the UK’s SMEs – an effort that is aided by the Digital Marketplace, which was developed to help make government procurement easier and more transparent.
“We are continually focused on breaking down the barriers to entry for SMEs to do business with government, for example, by simplifying the application process,” said Warren Smith, director of the Digital Marketplace, commenting on the figures.
“We are also breaking down the traditionally large contracts into smaller ones, which favour a more diverse range of suppliers and help government to buy services more efficiently.”
For more information on the Digital Marketplace, see the government website.