Why Have a Prime Contractor?

Public sector organisations have been guided by the Cabinet Office to working with larger numbers of IT providers and handling the integration themselves. 

Prime contractors use their experience of handling many sub contractors to reduce the risk of service failure and keeping costs down. They have two big advantages:

  • Power to make subcontractors work together to solve a problem.This comes from their dependance on the prime contractor that runs across many end users. I remember a situation where a major supplier needed this sort of power to force it to work on an unusually difficult problem that wasn't solely in their domain.
  • Knowledge based on working with them on a range of different accounts. 

However competent, the IT staff of the public sector organisation cannot make up for these prime contractor advantages.