The government's second G-Cloud framework has gone live, with twice the number of original suppliers.
Of the 458 suppliers on the 12-month framework, which allows public sector bodies to buy on demand IT services, three-quarters are small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), said the Cabinet Office.
The framework also sees the likes of other large cloud companies join for the first time, such as Salesforce.com.
Since the CloudStore was launched in February, the portal through which the government can buy G-Cloud services, some £2.2m has been spent on 99 separate purchases. Of that figure, 70% has been spent with SMEs, said the government.
G-Cloud programme director Denise McDonagh said: “The high representation of SMEs on both G-Cloud frameworks and in purchases from CloudStore are positive signs that the government is moving away from dependence on a small number of large suppliers for IT services.”
The second tranche of the G-Cloud service catalogue includes around 3,000 services, such as anti-spam, agile tools, simulation and training, and end-user device service packages.
Steve Garnett, EMEA head of Salesforce.com, said the company had waited for more appropriate terms and conditions before joining the framework. The company will be offering all its services on the framework up to impact level 2, for information not deemed sensitive to the workings of government.
Read more about the G-cloud here
“We are delighted to join and are impressed with all the hard work of the Cabinet Office,” he said.
The government also launched a G-hosting framework earlier this year to complement the G-cloud.
The hope is that between the CloudStore and G-hosting projects, government departments won't need to look toward conventional outsourcing, McDonagh told Computer Weekly earlier this year.
“We should look to the cloud first for hosting but if we can’t for some reason then [G-hosting would be appropriate] for 'heavy lifting' systems with legacy constraints,” she said.
The second version of the G-Cloud framework will be for one year, with a two-year extension in special circumstances - although McDonagh said much shorter durations are encouraged.