Why do public sector ‘strategic partnerships’ with IT firms fail?

Joe Dignan, Chief Analyst, Public Sector Technology, Ovum

“Strategic partnership” is an overused phrase. The reasons for the schism between the rhetoric of strategic partnerships and their flawed reality can be summed up by the disconnection between how the corporate function of an IT company formulates its go-to-market strategy and how it incentivizes its field sales team. Equally, the schism can be seen between the public sector’s inability to accept the fact that the private sector has to make a profit, and its belief that it must not tell the private sector anything in case it takes unfair advantage of the information.

Head office staff spend an inordinate amount of time and effort formulating strategic value propositions, negotiating at a senior level with global partners on partner solution plans, and taking those plans through their leadership function. They then engage with customers to explain the value propositions, their strategic …