Today I landed my first contract as an independent. A small contract but a contract nonetheless; one that will see us through until the next financial year, even if nothing else materialises. With all the doom and gloom surrounding the public sector at the moment I have found a ray of sunshine, albeit a small one that may not shine for ever. However, it is very positive that the public sector hasn’t given up buying in expertise altogether. Associates of mine all report an upsurge in interest in their services since the Comprehensive Spending Review. Principal areas of interest seem to be:-
- Shared Service strategies – at senior team level and support services, customer contact and, in some ambitious areas, frontline service fulfilment
- Harmonising and standardising IT systems/platforms/networks
- Understanding needs of citizens so they can be the focus of resources
- Place/Community budgets – how are they going to operate?
- Smart procurement – either there is a lot of bad advice or the good advice is simply ignored but it beggars belief that procurement is not nailed down yet. Then again, it’s only last month that Phillip Green told us it was so.
All in all, I am a glass half full type but even my glass was starting to look empty of late. Right now though, despite the howling wind and torrential rain outside, I’m off down to my local to toast the future – and pray my acorn gets a chance to grow enough to resist the well honed blade of the axe.