G-Cloud: The Way Forward
G-Cloud: The Way Forward
Since becoming a G-Cloud supplier in the early part of this year, it is clear to us that there has been a varied response to the G-Cloud framework and its impact on IT procurement for the public sector. There is a lot of top-down, positive & lsquo;noise’ and encouragement to use G-Cloud, which has been supported by the & lsquo;Cloud First’ policy launched in May. However, is this really making a difference or just a drop in the ocean?
Recent reports released by the GDS show that cumulative spend through G-Cloud has reached over £37.5m, with a steady £6m spend documented for July alone. After having a closer look, it is evident that a large portion of spending is through Lot 4 Specialist Cloud Services (SCS) showing that technical skills are increasingly in demand on both an interim and permanent basis. Criticism has arisen that spending through G-Cloud has perhaps plateaued, having levelled out at similar figures of £6m (or thereabouts) in recent months. That said, targets in place for both core and local Government, in addition to Cloud First extending to wider public sector organisations, could mean we see gradual and continuous spend growth between now and 2015.
Since the Cloud First policy was introduced, services through the CloudStore should be considered as a priority to other procurement methods. There is certainly plenty of choice with over 800 suppliers and in excess of 7000 services (due to increase again with G-Cloud IV iteration released later this year) and therefore you should be able to find everything you need! Central Government has a target to push 25% of IT procurement through SMEs, in addition to 50% of new IT budget spend on Cloud by 2015.
So why use G-Cloud?
The idea is simple: G-Cloud is a much quicker and cost-effective way of procuring IT. Suppliers can deliver to your requirements and scale quickly, allowing you to get what you need when you need it and only for the time you require it to be there. The marketplace is more competitive and SME’s are keen to ensure quality of service. We (eSynergy) deliver business solutions and can provide resource within 24-48 hours. This could mean delivering to a single requirement or providing an entire project team and the turnaround time is not something that traditional procurement procedures have been able to commit to. The majority of suppliers on G-Cloud are categorised as SMEs who are keen to learn more about public sector organisations and network to discover best working practices.
The only way is up
A recent review released by GDS shows that core Government departments are leading the way, having already directly spent 25% or more with SMEs. This includes MoJ, DFID, DCLG, BIS. In addition both the FCO and DEFRA are not far behind, having directly spent 20.5% and 20.3% (respectively) with SMEs between 2012/2013. This is encouraging behaviour and shows that the message is starting to spread. It can only be a positive that core bodies are leading by example.
There is fierce interest in G-Cloud IV both from customers and suppliers. As a supplier, we are taking a pro-active approach as it is key to understand the internal and existing processes within public sector, before we can look to improve them. We are holding the first UK G-Cloud meetup and encourage discussions/ positive news through social media. With the launch of G-Cloud IV, we are actively inviting open discussions both with other suppliers and customers to increase understanding for the framework on a wider level.
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