Based on the comments I've received, it would appear that most of you agree with my prediction that 2009-10 will be a tough, but manageable year for those public sector software suppliers who have order books and good recurring revenues to live off, whilst 2010-11 looks like it could be one of the worst years for public sector software suppliers.
However, my prediction of a recovery in 2012 has not received such a high level of agreement – particularly for suppliers to UK Police Forces.
Here, suppliers are concerned about the impact of the 2012 Olympics on Police Forces’ normal procurements – yes, there will inevitably be some addition expenditure on software and services specific to the Olympics themselves, but it would appear that the expectation is that Forces will put off the procurement of other systems and service until after 2012, both to conserve funds for the inevitable extra workload and costs of the Olympics (not just confined to the Met) and to wait to see what impact the Olympics will have on security issues going beyond 2012.
I raised this with a supplier of software and services to larger local authorities, to see if he felt the Olympics could also affect procurements amongst London Boroughs and those authorities outside London that are hosting Olympic events. He felt not – and agreed with my prediction of a recovery in 2012 – but added the caveat that in the current environment, there could be no certainty on any date for a recovery, and that 2012 could be yet another reason for government generally to delay procurement decisions....