Local governments continue to evaluate their short- and long-term objectives and the tools they need to achieve them. As they do, it is increasingly obvious that those tools include not only the technologies to transform their internal processes and external citizen programs and services. The business model – how the cities partner and purchase – is the most important enabler to a technology-driven government transformation. Governments no longer – if they ever really did – go out and purchase technology. Rather as governments increasingly turn to technology-driven solutions, they are pushing vendors to adopt business models that have long been popular in larger infrastructure-based public works projects – public private partnerships (PPPs).
The PPP model, however, has been a daunting proposition for many vendors. I’ve heard many technology vendor strategists state categorically:
“PPPs are not in our DNA.”
“We do them if we have to.”
“Our competitors are driving us in that direction.”
But more recently, particularly in the context of the smart city opportunities, tech vendor strategists are embracing alternative business models. They still, however, tend to avoid the term PPP – although the models chosen are all forms of “partnership” with the public entities they are serving. Here are four examples: