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The 11th iteration of the government’s cloud procurement framework has gone live today, with 4,200 suppliers making the cut this time – most of them small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
According to government procurement chiefs at the Crown Commercial Service (CCS), more than 90% of the suppliers featured on G-Cloud 11 are classified as SMEs.
About 30,000 services are listed on the three-lot framework, which spans cloud hosting, cloud software and cloud support.
Like previous versions of the framework, G-Cloud 11 is set to last for 12 months, although the CCS reserves the right to extend it by a further year if needed.
Niall Quinn, director of the CCS’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.”
The general consensus among the supplier community ahead of G-Cloud 11’s launch was that the new framework would feature no major changes, and that appears to be the case.
However, there has been a marked uptick in the number of new firms appearing on the framework this time.
For example, government figures released ahead of the launch of G-Cloud 10 suggested that just over 3,500 suppliers had applied for a place on the framework, but this time, its data suggests a further 700 organisations have also thrown their hats into the ring.
Infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) provider UKCloud is among the returning cohort of suppliers to G-Cloud 11, and will use the framework to offer public sector users access to an expanded portfolio of cloud support, monitoring and multi-cloud services.
To date, the firm has secured £91.65m in business through its involvement in the framework, with Genomics England emerging as its biggest G-Cloud customer overall, having procured £15.8m of services from UKCloud so far.
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“UKCloud was born around the same time as G-Cloud,” said Simon Hansford, CEO of UKCloud. “We shared a similar vision – to enable the UK public sector to harness the potential of cloud – to drive agility, innovation and cost savings – by opening up the public sector IT market from the ‘oligopoly’ to creative SMEs.
“There are many public sector organisations that are just setting out on the journey that UKCloud has been on, so we are in a unique position to help them make digital transformation happen.”
Since G-Cloud’s inception in March 2012, a total of £4.57bn has been generated by sales through the framework, and the CCS claims that almost 45% of this spend has been awarded to SME suppliers.
However, the opening of UK datacentres by hyperscale cloud firms, such as Microsoft and Amazon, in recent years has led to some disruption on this front, leading to a marked uptick in the number of G-Cloud contracts being put their way.
As reported by Computer Weekly in May 2019, this trend is thought to be partly responsible for the government’s decision to create an additional cloud framework, which is still in development, and will be geared towards offering public sector users access to hyperscale cloud services on longer contract terms than are currently offered by G-Cloud.