It is imperative to have a modern procurement methodology where procurement cycle is shorter and efficient, and that does not take years to complete when on an average technology lifecycle is between 3-5 years. For technology related procurement, often policy and procedures are complex and lengthy. These difficulties undermine transformation and have operational impacts on the delivery of services to citizens and businesses.
In an integrated digital government approach, CIOs need innovative ways to address department’s needs, support transformation initiatives, pilot and lead agile development of solutions.
Government of Canada is committed to improving procurement in Canada in following ways:
a. Making procurement simpler, less administratively burdensome
b. Switching to modern comptrollership through renewed policy
c. Achieve specific socio-economic benefits
“The modernization for IT procurement is inline with overall procurement improvement objectives of Public Services and Procurement Canada.”
Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat (TBS) in partnership with Public Services and Procurement Canada and Shared Services Canada are leading key improvements in federal procurement regime. The key decisions toward new-age procurement are:
- Departments to keep TBS up-to-date on planned procurement activities through IT investment plans
- Irrespective of contracting vehicle or approach, departments should consider agile development.
- To prevent duplicating procurement process for common needs, departments to invest in existing multi-department contracts.
Canadian governments to prefer agile development for in-house application development to enable greater adaptability to business requirements and enabling technologies for greater value to business and clients. Agile procurement favors shorter contract periods and allows solution building in modular fashion that is to say iterations in requirement building and technology supply, and taking a test drive before purchase. Thus piloting solution happens during procurement.
Shared Services Canada has started procuring cloud services for unclassified services of department. The services are procured from sanctioned cloud-based vendors. Many organization are adopting cloud-first strategy for delivery of Infrastructure services that is to say that the shared services for many organization is becoming brokers of services rather than provider of services. Cloud adoption is done in compliance with security policy prescribed by Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat (TBS).
Software as a Service
In an approach where organization adopts cloud model, SaaS model is rather disruptive. It allows procuring software product not as a product but rather as an ongoing service. The benefits of this approach are:
- Reduction in up-front cost and instead introduce ongoing subscription cost which is on-use basis and is often lower.
- Elimination of issues associated with upgrading to newer software versions
- The ongoing updates and evolution to address emerging requirements are done to product on the ongoing basis without government pushing for it.
- Reduction in maintenance cost, upgrade cost and prevention of legacy issues.