Procurement regulations in UK stalling digital innovation | DMA

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Procurement regulations in UK stalling digital innovation


As the role of procurement begins to grow within a number of UK industries, businesses are finding that as they begin to dabble with the practice they are coming up against a wall in the shape of inflexible UK procurement rules, according to ‘The Ascent of Digital’ report from Deloitte.

Rules relating to procurement practices in the UK are hindering the industry’s growth, particularly in the public sector. Deloitte questioned 400 industry leaders from across central and local government bodies, as well as from the NHS, police and education services, over regulations regarding procurement and the effective implementation of digital services.

The responses gathered showed that 83% of respondents believe procurement needs to change in order to accommodate digital transformation. A lack of flexibility and legacy contracts were listed as the two biggest hurdles to the development and implementation of digital-friendly procurement processes.

Digital transformation within businesses is becoming more of a focus for a number of professionals; when combined with procurement, it seems that there is a lot of work to do. In fact, 86% of respondents said digital services were essential, and yet only 32% noted how funding for digital services had increased within their organisation.

Similarly, only 3% said they felt confident that their organisation could respond well to changes in digital and procurement-related trends. Joel Bellman, the public sector digital partner at Deloitte, said: “The public sector needs to ramp up its digital skills; just one quarter saying they have the right skills in place is not a good omen.”

Although this is an age of austerity, meaning gaining funding for new digital procurement services may not be easy, it is noted that digital procurement is “a route to long term savings.”

Do you believe the UK needs to change its regulations regarding procurement and digital initiatives?

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