Tuesday, 6 October 2009

iSOFT forecasts 10% growth

(By Tola Sargeant, Tuesday, 6th October 2009, 9:10am) Australian-headquartered iSOFT, a key provider of healthcare software under England’s £12bn National Programme for IT in the NHS (NPfIT), is forecasting sales growth of 10% in FY10 (though probably not all organic). At its AGM yesterday, it also said that NPfIT “may evolve into an ‘open market’”, adding that iSOFT is already benefiting from a more open market in the South of England.

It is true that NPfIT may well evolve into a more open market, particularly if the Labour government loses the UK general election next year (see also NHS IT Localisation: A world of opportunity?). iSOFT has also seen some benefit from Fujitsu, which was deploying Cerner’s rival software, leaving the programme in the South. But iSOFT should not be under any illusions. If the market is opened to a wider selection of suppliers iSOFT will face stiff competition both from existing UK-based suppliers, such as System C Healthcare, and new entrants from overseas including UPMC, Agfa Healthcare, Siemens and Cambio Healthcare Systems. Cerner would also remain a very tough competitor. Indeed, it has been Cerner, in partnership with UPMC, which has won the majority of recent non-NPfIT procurements in the UK. As a result, iSOFT could well see its market share decline from 2010 (it currently has around a 60% share of the NHS applications market outside NPfIT) as some Trusts upgrade their systems with competitors’ products.

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