It’s that time of year again. The Crown Commercial Service has announced that the latest iteration of G-Cloud (11) has gone live with a whopping 4,200 suppliers - approximately 700 more than G-Cloud 10.
It claims that over 90% of all the suppliers listed are SMEs and that of the £4.79 billion spent through the platform since 2012, £2.15 billion has gone directly to small and medium enterprises.
G-Cloud is listed on the Government’s Digital Marketplace and will host more than 31,000 services for public sector buyers to choose from. A full list of G-Cloud 11 suppliers can be found here.
Niall Quinn, director of Crown Commercial Service’s Technology Pillar, said:
G-Cloud continues to be a major success story for how we drive innovation in the public sector. G-Cloud is all about simplicity, making it as straightforward as possible for customers and suppliers to find each other.
Launched in 2012, G-Cloud was an innovative procurement vehicle for government buyers to get access to cloud services. At the time, the pre-approved nature of the framework was unheard of in Whitehall, allowing those seeking technology suppliers a transparent list of services to choose from - with large and small suppliers sitting side by side, on an equal footing.
One UK SME that has seen huge growth via G-Cloud is UKCloud, the multi-cloud platform provider, which has today announced that it has been successful in being listed on G-Cloud 11 with an expanded portfolio of new services and solutions. As well as its multi-cloud platform, UKCloud is now also providing advisory and optimisation services, as well as new solutions (such as application and core-asset monitoring).
UKCloud’s Commercial Director, Nicky Stewart, said:
Procurement used to be long-winded, time consuming, complicated and expensive, G-Cloud has changed all that – it has opened up the market to many more providers, giving the public sector access to much more innovation and better value for money.
I don’t think anyone, back in 2012 when G-Cloud first went live, would have predicted that nearly £5bn would be spent via the framework in a little over seven years. G-Cloud has been a key enabler for public sector cloud adoption, and helped many SMEs and new market entrants gain a foothold in the public sector technology market.
G-Cloud has evolved over time with the market, and is just one of a portfolio of innovative framework agreements, such as Technology Services 2 and DAS, that CCS has put in place, or is developing. These all very real opportunities for suppliers that want to make a difference and do the right thing for the public sector.
Another SME supplier, Triad, based in Godalming, Surrey, has been a G-Cloud supplier since 2013. Adrian Leer, Managing Director of Triad, said:
‘Since winning a place on G-Cloud ii in 2013 we have been successful in winning a number of contracts for government. We have been involved in numerous large programmes of work across government and in January 2019 we were ranked 4th of the digital suppliers to government. To be ahead of some of the largest consultancies in the UK as an SME of 70 staff is incredible.’
New procurement tools
Whilst G-Cloud continues to expand and grow, the government has announced a number of other new marketplaces that are being made available to public sector technology buyers.
For example, it was recently revealed by the Cabinet Office Minister for Implementation, Oliver Dowden, that a new online marketplace - dubbed Spark - will allow suppliers of ‘future tech’ a new route to market.
Spark is a dynamic purchasing system - meaning that suppliers can join at any point (unlike G-Cloud) - and focuses on eight technology areas that include IoT, AI, data, wearables and simulated environments.
However, despite much hype around the framework being another opportunity for SMEs to get involved with government projects, Spark only launched with seven suppliers, one of which is Accenture.
Elsewhere, the Government Digital Service (GDS) has announced its intention to take the Digital Marketplace - which lists G-Cloud, amongst other frameworks - global. It has said that it foresees and opportunity for suppliers to sell their services via the frameworks on the Digital Marketplace to countries overseas, particularly emerging economies.
The Digital Marketplace has helped to transform and simplify the selling of cloud and digital services to UK government buyers. It intends to provide a transparent, searchable platform, with the aim of democratising procurement in government, which has traditionally been dominated by a handful of large SIs.
GDS has revealed that it received funding from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to expand the Digital Marketplace, as part of their work on anti-corruption (and is no doubt being perceived as a mechanism to boost trade post-Brexit).
Diginomica/government revealed earlier this year that GDS was recruiting a number of people to head up the delivery of the Global Digital Marketplace, including product managers for Latin America, Southeast Asia and Southern Africa.