Steve Kelman’s column in FCW discusses the benefits and future of tech demos – the practice in government procurement of allowing IT vendors to show what they can do instead of relying purely on the complicated proposal process.
The innovative thinking evident in this practice is a good sign for digital transformation because it will lead to more qualified vendors serving agencies, and because it represents a necessary cultural shift in the way governments think about government IT procurement.
From the article:
There are two big advantages of using tech demos for source selection. The most important is that it embodies a philosophy of “do, not just say.” This represents a break with the extravagant essay contests that characterize too much of traditional federal procurement … that sets the government far apart from how work is competed in the commercial world. By contrast, tech demos correspond to the common commercial approach to choosing a software developer using what are typically called “coding challenges” — timed responses to an application development scenario where bidders submit what they have done and the customer evaluates it for completeness, ingenuity, error-freedom and security.
The second advantage of tech demos is related to the first. Traditional government source selection is strange and unfamiliar to most vendors outside the government contracting fraternity, and represents an important barrier to entry for new entrants into the government marketplace. Using tech demos is a way to bring in new competitors.
Read the full article: The next big thing in IT procurement | FCW