Bristol picks Fujitsu as long-term digital-transformation partner in £25m deal

Tech firm signs five-year contract with local authority

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Bristol City Council has appointed Fujitsu to a potential £25m five-year deal in which the tech firm will serve as the authority’s “digital strategic partner” in the delivery of a long-term transformation strategy.

Newly published commercial information reveals that the council entered into a contract on 31 January. The objective of the procurement exercise was to identify “a sole supplier to bring about a step change in Bristol City Council’s ability to meet its digital transformation ambitions” over the coming years.

These ambitions were laid out in the authority’s Digital Strategy 2022 – 2027, which was published last year and in which the Bristol pledged “to renew our digital platforms and to build and mature our capabilities” over the coming half-decade.

The strategy was divided into four key ambitions for the qualities its digital operations should embody: easy, engaging, and inclusive; simple, stable, and secure; well-used and used well; and ready to partner, willing to share, and able to innovate.

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“Given the scale of challenge, the pace of change and the regular need for highly specialised digital skills that are hard to recruit and may not be needed permanently, we intend to seek support with our journey from a single digital strategic partner,” the strategy says. “This single-partner arrangement will help ensure we have a coherent, consistent approach and solutions. It will be on a no-commitment basis, meaning we only spend money with them when we need to, rather than being obliged to. By doing this we aim to gain maximum flexibility and be well-supported to deliver our digital projects and services quickly and to a high quality.”

Fujitsu has now been chosen as that partner. The authority’s deal with the tech firm runs until 30 January 2028. Spending via the deal during that time is forecast to be £25m.

The procurement notice said: “This new long-term partnership will combine the capacity, knowledge and expertise that exists within the council, with the capabilities and reach of a private sector partner to significantly accelerate the pace of delivery of the council’s digital transformation ambitions, its associated Digital Transformation Programme, and its wider digital ambitions.”

Sam Trendall

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