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The four key drivers that can enable better IT procurement

Bridging the digital divide: Implementing open procurement for effective digital transformation

Digital transformation is arguably the most important administrative undertaking of governments around the world. From healthcare management and social safety net technology to managing vaccine sign-ups during the pandemic, governments simply need to buy IT better. More often than not, public procurement of technology is viewed as non-transparent, uncompetitive, poorly planned, inefficient, costly, and having high failure rates.

But timelines, bureaucratic hurdles, and intricacies of the procurement process prevent the swift adoption of cutting-edge technology and potential for collaboration with innovative organizations that are essential for reforming existing processes. 

For a new report, we analyzed best practices and talked to civil servants, industry leaders and academic experts to identify the key drivers that enable better IT procurement building on the foundations of open contracting. 

In sum: What successful jurisdictions have in common is that they are shortening cycle-times and developing a common approach through flexible and transparent centralized frameworks that enable the private sector to offer solutions to problems. They are encouraging dialogue about who bought what from whom to improve visibility and accountability over the spending and the improved outcomes seen in the examples provided. 

In this blog, in addition to the ten principles that underlie open contracting highlighted in the report, we want to highlight four key challenges that, if overcome, can empower governments to leap ahead rather than fall back when it comes to managing digitization:

Agility and innovation

Access to technical expertise

Managing investment and securing value for money

Overcome legacy and avoid vendor lock-in

Open Contracting as the foundation for effective digitalization 

Notably, all four countries that successfully applied open procurement in technology projects also invested in foundational open contracting reforms to public procurement. They legislated and developed incentives for improved reporting and transparency, adopted the Open Contracting Data Standard, embraced collaboration, and set clear policy goals. 

Read our new report with the Open Data Institute for the AWS Institute which explores the benefits of these reforms across all sectors as well as specific recommendations for the IT sector.

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