By Claire West

In the next 24 hours the axe is going to fall as the UK prepares itself for the Chancellor’s spending review due on Wednesday, and while many expect that the cuts will stunt the economy, a report from Ernst & Young suggests that opportunity exists for the numerous non-financial companies which are in ‘excellent financial shape’.

One sector which has received a boost from the recession has been tech companies which have seen an increase in business as other sectors look to technology to act as an enabler to reduce costs and improve efficiencies as the expected cuts bite.

Chris Papa, managing director for Qubic, a company which has helped organisations to strip out costs said, “The public sector will need to find new ways of working in order to function at an acceptable level and technology can certainly help.

One area that can be addressed immediately is the procurement process which is weighted towards large IT companies (Tier I) who can be inflexible and slow to react. Furthermore, these organisations charge a premium for their services simply because their recognised names are ‘on the list’.

Perhaps now is the time to look at Tier II providers, who are able to offer the same services and at a greatly reduced cost. Historically, the bigger suppliers have taken the lion’s share of public sector contracts in part because of the tendering requirements, and in part because of a perception that ‘bigger’ meant lower risk. Ironically, on many occasions contracts have been ‘fronted’ by the bigger suppliers but we have ended up delivering the service as part of a larger contract such as a PFI.”