Aussie security partner eyes fresh growth amid Govt IT procurement reforms

Aussie security partner eyes fresh growth amid Govt IT procurement reforms

Penten gets set to test the effectiveness of the Govt's new procurement rules

Australian cyber security partner, Penten, expects to double in size over the next year thanks, in part, to the introduction of the Federal Government’s new IT procurement rules.

In August, the Federal Government’s Assistant Minister for Cities and Digital Transformation, Angus Taylor, revealed new procurement reforms that see federal public sector IT contracts capped at $100 million.

The procurement changes also see a pledge by the Government to inject an additional $650 million annually into local tech companies that fall into the small to medium-sized enterprise (SME) category.

This figure equates to 10 per cent of the Federal Government’s annual $6.5 billion IT spend.

Broadly, the new stance is aimed at giving smaller suppliers a leg up when competing for lucrative public sector contracts, potentially leveling a playing field heavily dominated by top tier suppliers such as IBM, Hewlett Packard Enteprise (HPE) and Dell EMC.

"These are exciting changes that will actively encourage small innovators to sell us their ideas," Taylor said.

While the effectiveness of reforms remains to be seen, Penten’s optimism at the potential benefits of the new procurement rules for smaller players could mark it as the first among a growing number of local tech suppliers to make the most of the changes.

According to Taylor, who visited the cyber security supplier on 13 September, the company, which currently has around 30 employees, is expecting to double its revenue and workforce over the coming 12 months through various initiatives, including the procurement reforms.

Based in Canberra, Penten claims Amiosec and Tenable as technology partners. The company has also developed its own encrypted USB device, Alto Crypt Stik, which employs “military grade” encryption for communicating on secure networks.

According to the Penten’s CEO, Matt Wilson, the procurement changes will allow the company to better compete for Government business.

"Direct contracts support innovation,” Wilson said. "Our offerings can be assessed on their merits and be the basis of the contract itself, rather than being part of a broader ICT capability being offered by a large company.

“This is what gives the direct economic and growth opportunities for SMEs,” he said.

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Tags procurementfederal governmentPenten

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