How to know when to get off Spark
We've already discussed the benefits of being on the new Spark DPS. Once on it however, there might be reasons that mean it's the right time to say goodbye....
As mentioned in our SPARK Supplier Update, the goal of the SPARK DPS is to supply new but proven technologies; those that are ‘disruptively’ or ‘radically’ innovative, but also tried and tested, ready to be deployed on a wider scale.
Let’s say you’re a supplier who has developed an innovative technology specifically for the health sector, which has been purchased, tested and deployed by a single NHS trust. The solution has worked well—replacing an outdated, mature product and causing innovative change on a small scale—and your company’s next goal is to deploy this solution across the entirety of the NHS. In this scenario, your solution would be ideal for SPARK.
However, how do you know when your tech solution is, in fact, too mature a product to sit on the DPS? Here’s what to ask yourself…
Has your solution already been deployed widely across government?
Your technology might still be new, but if it’s already in common use throughout the public sector then SPARK probably isn’t the one for you anymore.
For reference, a few examples of innovative technology yet to be used widely across the public sector are:
- Predictive Analytics
- Brain-computer Interface
- Autonomous Vehicles
- Smart Fabrics
(Make sure to look at the ‘Customer Needs’ document from the bid pack, for full details of the scope of the DPS).
All of these technologies are pretty much new to public sector (although, crucially, not entirely new in their own right) – there will be very few scenarios in which they have been widely used across government.
So, do you continue to fit this criteria? Does your solution remain new, but specifically to the public sector?
Does your solution cause radical or disruptive innovation?
As a reminder, here are CCS’ definitions of ‘radical’ and ‘disruptive’ innovation:
- Disruptive Innovation: Disruptive Innovation creates a new market and value network and eventually disrupts an existing market and value network, displacing established market-leading firms, products, and alliances.
- Radical Innovation: Radical Innovation is when a new product, service, process or strategy is introduced to a market, but is designed to make a significant impact by completely replacing existing technologies and methods. Effectively, it ‘blows up’ the existing system or process and replaces it with something entirely new.
The SPARK DPS is meant for ‘immature markets that enables Customers access to genuine innovation’. So, are you offering geniune innovation to buyers who have not experienced a solution such as yours?
Here’s an example scenario: the touchscreen. Once upon a time this was an innovative technology that—although had been developed and tested years before its widespread use—was yet to be deployed on such a scale. It’s safe to say that such tech was radically disruptive.
However, nowadays we see the touchscreen everywhere. The majority of devices in common use are touchscreen, having gradually replaced more mature hardware. In other words, touchscreen devices are by no means innovative anymore; they are now the norm. So, such tech would certainly not be suitable for SPARK, even though a few years ago it might well have been. This is an example of a technology that has matured.
It’s certainly worth applying this scenario to you own tech solutions, and if it’s no longer causing geniune innovation, it might be time to get off SPARK.
Of course, the definition of ‘innovative’ remains quite vague, but we hope that this helps you to consider where your technology is best suited. If you think it might be too mature for SPARK, it’s certainly worth looking at one of the other CCS technology agreements such as G-Cloud or TePAS.