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How to win cyber security contracts

Written by 
 at Stotles

Concrete methods cyber suppliers can proactively create public sector opportunities

Increased demand for cyber security suppliers and growing budgets for cyber initiatives have resulted in far greater competition for companies bidding on public sector opportunities.

The major question on the minds of suppliers is how they can get ahead of tenders and involved with buyer organisations before the competition.

This blogpost intends to outline concrete ways you can do just that! The below methods are proven examples of ways suppliers can proactively track market signals and create more public sector opportunities.

Method 1: Track cyber keyword trends

Tracking keywords is an essential first step towards generating more public sector opportunities. By proactively tracking market signals you can understand what the public sector is asking for and where the opportunities may lie.

We’ve analysed various keyword topics relating to cyber security in titles and descriptions of contract data between 2016 and 2021, picking a sample of the most popular terms to indicate key areas of cyber procurement.

Most notably, we found 171 references to ‘Identity and access management’ solutions, indicating the significant demand that the public sector has had for these solutions and their importance in government cyber security strategies

Suppliers can set up custom views in Stotles' free opportunity feed to keep an eye on contracts that include your keywords. To create your feed, sign up to Stotles.

Method 2: Look for buyers starting digital transformation programmes

To understand at which point in the cycle a cyber solution is needed, it’s helpful to look at historical data surrounding activity that precedes cyber security specific contracts.

Using Stotles data, we are able to uncover typical procurement activity by buyers before they release cyber security opportunities. In general, tracking signals of digital transformation can lead to uncovering upcoming cyber security opportunities. The example below follows the University of Sheffield's path to procuring for Endpoint Detection & Response (EDR) and Next-Gen Antivirus (NGAV) software as part of their cyber security tech stack.

Timeline of events:

In January 2021, the university was hiring for digital transformation consultants under this ‘Interims for Digital Transformation, Business Change and BAU’ contract.

The contract was awarded to Real Staffing Group and was valued at £750,000 GBP.

Two months later, in March 2021, the university awarded Bloom Procurement Services the right to run a digital transformation and legacy system contract, named ‘Data Migration Services for Interim ModuleManagement in SLP’.

The contract called for data migration services from legacy systems to the University’s new systems. The contract lasted less than four months and had a value of £62,000 GBP.

June 2021

Three months after that, in June 2021, we saw the shift to requiring specific cyber security solutions occur via the release of this ‘Endpoint Detection & Response (EDR) and Next-Gen Antivirus (NGAV) Software and Associated Services’ contract.

In the last month of the previous data migration contract, the university awarded Softcat PLC the above contract via the Software Products and Associated Services Framework.This contract has a value of approximately £350,000 GBP and spans over three years.

The aim of this example is to show that early signals of digital transformation can act as indicators of downstream cyber security opportunities. This type of analysis can be repeated across different signals. For example, if you provide ISO certifications, it is a good idea to track when government organisations complete cyber security audits, as it often precedes needing a certification.

Method 3: Monitor expiring cyber contracts

Another way suppliers can create more opportunities is by monitoring upcoming expiring contracts. Given the extensive need for ongoing cyber security services, much of government procurement of cyber services happens on a recurring basis.

Keeping track of upcoming contract expiries means suppliers can prepare ahead of time to win potential contract renewals.

Below is an example of a cyber security contract expiring in the next 6 months that suppliers can use as a basis for focusing on which buyer relationships you want to build.

Cyber Security Specialists were awarded this Cyber Security and Cloud Security Architecture contract from the Department For Work and Pensions (DWP). This particular contract ends in 7 months, giving suppliers plenty of time to prepare for a potential renewal with DWP.

The aim of this blogpost is to outline three concrete methods suppliers working with the public sector can implement to find new opportunities. Whilst these examples are cyber security related, the exercise can be replicated for any industry or service provider.

To learn more about how Stotles can help you find and create more sales deals, sign up to our platform today.

In August 2022, we released a free report on the £billions in public sector cyber security funding. The aim of this report is to showcase the monumental opportunities emerging for cyber security suppliers to get involved with. Click here to download your free Stotles report.