HCL boss slams “old boys’ network” in UK public IT

The chief executive of Indian outsourcing company HCL has criticised public sector IT procurement in the UK, which he says is disadvantaged by the dominance of an “old boys’ network” of established players.

“Your contracts are bad, your competition is limited,” said Vineet Nayar in an interview with the Financial Times. “All we are asking is for a level playing field.”

A handful of suppliers, such as IBM, HP Enterprise Services, BT Global Services, Fujitsu and Logica, have historically received the lions’ share of public sector IT spending.

Indian suppliers’ such as HCL have had less success in the public sector as they have with private customers, due in part to political opposition to offshoring government jobs.

There are signs, however, that this opposition might be thawing. In November 2009, Cardiff County Council announced a 15-year IT contract with Indian supplier TCS, although the council insisted that it wasn’t an outsourcing deal as it involved the establishment of an entirely new, TCS-staffed IT facility. “The new partnership with TCS will not involve any council staff being transferred to the private sector,” council leader Rodney Berman said at the time".

Pete Swabey

Pete Swabey

Pete was Editor of Information Age and head of technology research for Vitesse Media plc from 2005 to 2013, before moving on to be Senior Editor and then Editorial Director at The Economist Intelligence...

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