Sergey Nivens - stock.adobe.com
The 12th iteration of the UK government’s G-Cloud procurement framework is now live, with 5,224 suppliers offering public sector IT buyers access to more than 38,000 cloud services through the Digital Marketplace.
G-Cloud 12 officially went live on 28 September 2020, with the government procurement chiefs at the Crown Commercial Service (CCS) reporting a 25% uplift in the number of cloud services featured this time around compared to the 11th version of the framework.
According to the original G-Cloud 12 tender put out by the CCS, the three-lot framework is valued at £1.9bn and is initially set to run for 12 months, with an option to extend it by a further 12 months if needed.
It will supersede the G-Cloud 11 framework, which was due to expire in July 2020 but has since been granted a six-month stay of execution until 18 December 2020 for Covid-19-related reasons.
At the time of writing, a total of £660m of business has been transacted through the G-Cloud 11 framework, according to the CCS’s sales data.
G-Cloud 11 still has three months to run, but its predecessor (G-Cloud 10) brought in £1.33bn during its lifetime, and G-Cloud 9 saw £1.55bn spent during its go-live period.
In keeping with the framework’s original aim to broaden the pool of suppliers from which public sector organisations can procure goods and services, the CCS further reports that 91% of the suppliers on G-Cloud 12 are classified as small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
In view of these figures, CCS technology pillar director Patrick Nolan said the G-Cloud framework continues to be a “great public sector success”.
“It encourages innovation and improves services for UK citizens by allowing customers and suppliers to find each other easily,” said Nolan.
“Now, more than ever, SMEs have a crucial role to play in our economy, and G-Cloud is a proven method through which they can grow their businesses and support the national recovery.”
Since its launch in 2012, more than £6bn of cloud and digital services have been purchased via the framework, with close to 42% of that spend going directly to SMEs, the CCS reports.
“The annual spend under G-Cloud has risen every year since the agreement was launched in 2012,” it said in a statement. “This includes a year-on-year increase in spend with SMEs.”
One of the beneficiaries of this spend has been public sector-focused infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) provider UKCloud, whose CEO, Simon Hansford, talked up the G-Cloud framework’s ability to provide public sector organisations with a streamlined means of purchasing cloud services.
“Public services are often hindered by the lengthy procurement processes that bind them,” he said. “G-Cloud 12 serves to cut through the noise and pinpoint services that really work, that are trialled and tested, ultimately streamlining the process to modernisation.
“For public-sector bodies, investment in IT modernisation can superficially seem like a very daunting task. G-Cloud is pointing organisations in the direction of services that can genuinely enhance our experience as citizens, with life-changing progress being made in areas like healthcare and defence, in particular.”
Hansford added: “In order to keep moving forward and enable greater innovation – such as automation and machine learning services – a lean, nimble and modern IT infrastructure is paramount. Frameworks intended to help bodies make the jump from legacy systems to digital, future-ready services are absolutely key to that transition.”
Plymouth-based web and digital services provider GOSS has been a G-Cloud provider since 2013, having initially secured a place on the second iteration of the framework.
Company sales director Simon Smith said that during GOSS’s time on the framework, the number of contracts it has secured through G-Cloud has risen year on year.
“With the G-Cloud framework, we have managed to extend the reach and scope of our solutions to all parts of the UK, having now won contracts in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland,” he added.