Technology Is Changing The Way Private Companies Engage The Government

Written by the Voyage Control Sales Team

How have public/ private partnerships changed over time? Procuring work from any government municipality is never easy or cheap. That’s one reason why the barriers to entry into government contracting are so high. Emerging companies need to focus on the lowest hanging fruit, and while public works projects can be very lucrative, they do not attract new technologies because of the difficulty in procuring them.

Red tape strangles the flow of goods and services between public and private entities for the economic, environmental, and social benefit of a community. If the procurement process for public works projects was not so difficult to navigate it would benefit more from private services. In an age where technology is becoming more sophisticated, and new technologies are outdated after 12-18 months, it is time for governments to accept this fact and engage with the private sector to help solve community problems more effectively.

Becoming a registered vendor is the first step to submitting an RFP for a government works project. When cities face new challenges (environmental, economic, growth, etc.) they may try to engage the private industry to help tackle some of these problems. The Obama administration recently launched the Smart City Challenge offering $40M to the best proposal submitted by any mid-sized American city. The goal is to set an example for cities across the country to take steps towards being cleaner, safer, and promoting a healthier environment for its citizens to live in.

Technology is breaking down walls as it us providing efficiencies to existing government processes that are currently inefficient. The City of London ranks among the top cities in the world working to transition from outdated practices to smart city initiatives via the private sector. Voyage Control has been engaged throughout this endeavor and won the Canary Wharf’s Cognicity Challenge in 2015.

So I pose these questions:

  • Does the government worry about losing guaranteed jobs to automated technology?
  • Do government workers have too much protection from reprise for producing sub par work?
  • Does the government have the in place infrastructure to train its employees to be versatile in their jobs as the landscape and specific roles are changing due to the evolution of technology?

These are easy questions that we all probably know the answer to but do not have easy solutions for. Governments need to adapt and develop the internal infrastructure to do this across all sectors of the government. The Smart City Challenge is an exciting opportunity to get this conversation started, but there is a long way to go. Perhaps the issues of the future will bring about adaptive and creative change in the both the private and government sector. The next 10 to 20 years are going to be very interesting as solutions to the world’s biggest problems emerge and governments adapt to take advantage of them.


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