CIOs, CTOs, and Public-Private Partnerships: Summary

Public-private partnerships are growing in popularity and we have seen many high profile successes in this sphere. CIOs and CTOs can use their technical knowledge and platforms to make these often complex, highly rewarding projects a success. With this reference guide to our entire eight-part series, you can easily find the information you need. 

What a PPP Is

Public-private partnerships, often referred to as PPPs or P3s, bring public and private entities together to complete projects that might not otherwise come to fruition. These partnerships and projects are gaining popularity as governments and other public parties scramble to deal with their need for innovation, technology, and improved infrastructure, with often inadequate budgets. Private entities offer much of the financing, while shouldering risk and responsibilities. 

Projects are more likely to come in on time and within budget because private companies cannot pass along the cost of schedule overruns and budget issues as readily as the public sector. At the same time, private organizations benefit from long-term profits instead of putting in the same level of effort and resources for a one-off project. 

Overcoming Obstacles

Like any other project, a public-private partnership comes with obstacles that CIOs, CTOs, and their teams must overcome to be successful. 

One of the biggest challenges to a PPP is balancing risk and reward for all stakeholders. For private entities especially, the risk can be great, which is why CIOs and CTOs, along with their team, need to evaluate the potential benefits and ensure that compensation meets the level of risk. 

Creating a shared vision can also be a challenge but it is vital to the success of a PPP. This shared vision needs to come from both public and private parties, and perhaps more importantly, include feedback and buy-in from those who will ultimately use the finished project.

Finally, both public and private entities need to commit to communication, even through the inevitable obstacles and setbacks.

Baby Steps and Celebrating Successes

Smaller PPPs, and smaller steps within complex PPPs, are well worth celebrating! While it is often the big, flashy projects that get the most attention from the public and media, small scale P3s bring about a lot of good. 

Further, a P3 does not even have to be completed, or close to it, to celebrate. These baby steps are important milestones within your PPP timeline, indicating that you are on the right track.

Examples of Successful Public-Private Partnerships

We have collected a handful of examples of P3s that went well, showing that this type of project is meeting goals and changing lives in all industries, regularly. Here are a few:

  • The Chicago Skyway Bridge privatizationan example of the first time an existing toll road was privatized.
  • Capital Bikeshare is a very successful P3, emulated by many other bikeshare projects.
  • The Long Beach Courthouse is often cited in PPP examples, as an example of how the government was able to move risk and capital requirements to the private sector, which will recoup profits over a 35-year lease.

Game Plan

Creating a game plan brings all of these pieces together to ensure your PPP has the best chances of success. As the saying goes, you cannot manage what you cannot measure, which is why a solid framework is so important.

A game plan for a PPP involves setting goals for the project. Some will be more general and overarching, like ensuring that profits are maximized and risk is as minimal as possible. Others will be specific to the project, such as improving technology within a neighborhood. These goals inform your and your partner’s shared vision, as well as your timeline and the measurement metrics you will use to ensure that the project is on track.

Working with a PPP-focused investor and/or consultant is a good way to create and stick to a game plan.

Ultimately, public-private partnerships are vital to addressing gaps in infrastructure, technology, innovation, and budgets. They do this by bringing together the best of both sectors, public and private, offering benefits to everyone involved, especially the end user. These projects are an exciting opportunity for the tech sector, as evidenced by the many great examples of successful public-private partnerships involving technology.

We hope this series has piqued your interest in the potential of public-private partnerships and provided you with a road map forward. We are pleased to offer our services in any way they are needed to help your team move forward with your goals.

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