Potential new IT procurement reform from the Government of Canada may have many solution providers in National Capital Region influx, but not Toronto-based Softchoice Corp. (TSX: SO).
Company president and CEO Dave MacDonald said that a higher level of deficit reducation will create a greater opportunity for IT solution providers. “As the Canadian government focuses on reducing the deficit there will also be many public service IT workers retiring in the next five to eight years. Larger projects that eliminate cost in government will be a big opportunity,” he said.
MacDonald who is a member of the Information Technology Association of Canada (ITAC) is working with that association on a strategy to build communications and recommendations for reducing the budget and to take advantage of the people that are retiring in the next few years.
Currently, the government is facing a $50 billion deficit and mandates have been set to cut costs across all federal departments.
Kelly Bizeau, president of MarketWorks Ltd. of Ottawa said in a previous interview that the obvious first choice for cuts will be IT, since the existing federal government technology stack is aging and new solutions centred on virtualization, green IT and distributed computing would save the government millions.
According to MacDonald, the issue at hand is the way government buys IT. In his opinion, the Canadian government buys IT on a piece meal basis and they have a reluctance or do not have the ability to implement larger scale product solutions.
“We have to change their minds on large scale endeavours,” he said.
MacDonald added that of the top ten suppliers to the government for information communications technology two are temporary manpower placement agencies instead of outsourcers or solution providers who can provide products from SAP, Oracle, IBM Websphere or Microsoft. “You have a department buying stuff and doing it temporary instead of stitching it together on a large scale.”
MacDonald along with other members of ITAC are working diligently on initiatives to changes this mind set, he said. These initiatives will be announced later on this year.