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Not so long ago, customers typically wanted to lease a Managed WAN. Now, customer requirements are increasingly diverging. They either want to buy a ‘wires only’ service (and sometimes actually dark-fibre) and manage the network themselves, or they want to buy (often on-demand) business services.  They are more concerned with paying for what they want, when they want it, rather than being able to see the lights flashing on equipment in their data centres.

Technology is increasingly blurring boundaries – boundaries between the network, the service, and the application – to the extent that these boundaries are arguably becoming artificial and unhelpful.

In recent years, there has been a huge change in things like digital self-serve and mobile working, as well as an increase in appropriateness of data security and the use of Public cloud services. However, we believe that, while they are intensifying and accelerating, at a high level at least, the core business needs across the public sector haven’t fundamentally changed. The underlying requirements for speed, flexibility and security isn’t changing; it is the technology which is changing the way (and the efficiency and effectiveness) that they can be achieved and delivered.

Innopsis is the industry association that works on behalf of suppliers of digital Infrastructure to the public sector. For nine years we have been deeply involved with, and influential in, the projects and programmes that have transformed how the public sector procures and consumes innovative information sharing services, and how industry develops and markets these services. We were established as part of the Public Services Network (PSN) operating model, working with Government to define the PSN marketplace. This is experience that we have subsequently brought to bear within the Health and Social Care Network (HSCN) programme, and the emerging ‘Internet First’ initiative.

Now, as the authorities consult with industry on the future direction of telecommunications and networking for government, a programme that Government Digital Services has named ‘FN4G’, we are again engaged on behalf of members.

Of key importance, to both customers and suppliers, is to ensure that when a procurement is underway, service requirements are specified in a manner that industry understands and can supply competitively and cost-effectively. This will lead to successful procurements. So we work with both customers and buyers on how to how to position services, and service requirements, into the Public Sector marketplace. We work with the relevant authorities on how to develop successful and vibrant marketplaces – advising on services, standards, and procurement approaches amongst other topics.