The National Programme for IT has awarded a one-year £154,000 contract to IT analysts Gartner to provide it with market intelligence services.  The deal follows the award of a £117,000 contract to Ovum for ‘supplier relations’ services in July.

According to NPfIT the market intelligence to be supplied by Gartner will help it monitor the supplier market and “learn from the best IT practices in the world".

Gartner will provide a market intelligence service to national programme senior executives, giving them online access to all Gartner research reports and telephone inquiry access to all Gartner analysts worldwide. Gartner’s European healthcare research director, Jonathan Edwards, will lead the service provision.

As part of the agreement, Gartner will also run a number of workshops for national programme executives on topics of interest, and will provide access to Gartner UK conferences and the annual Gartner Symposium.

According to the NPfIT the research provided will help it to save time and money by learning from best practice approaches to IT, healthcare and business issues in other organisations around the world.

NPfIT also said in a statement that the intelligence services would help it understand key issues such as achieving value for money from IT, technology adoption and change management, application integration, and mobile and wireless technologies.

Gordon Head, Gartner’s European healthcare business development manager, said: “Gartner is delighted to be working with the National Programme, providing Market Intelligence Services as an extension of the NPfIT’s existing team. The use of independent research and advisory services strengthens the message that the NPfIT is committed to applying best practice and providing best value through information technology to clinicians and patients alike."

Gordon Hextall, chief operating officer for the national programme added: “The agreement with Gartner is an excellent way to ensure the NHS can learn from the best IT practices available in the world."

The contract was awarded following an Invitation to Tender for the provision of market intelligence under an OGC S-Cat arrangement.