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Government Digital Service signs two-year public cloud hosting deal with AWS worth £12m

The Government Digital Service has signed its longest and highest value deal with AWS to-date, as the public cloud giant’s hold on the public sector continues to grow

The Government Digital Service (GDS) has signed a £12m, two-year hosting deal with Amazon Web Services (AWS) that could effectively double the amount the department has spent to-date with the public cloud giant.

The deal means AWS will remain in place as a hosting provider for the department’s various digital products, which is a position the tech firm has held since signing its first 12-month hosting contract with GDS in June 2019.

The 2019 deal was valued at £3.35m and ran until June 2020 when the department signed a new hosting deal with AWS worth £6.6m that ran until 30 June 2021.

The latest contract is double the length and value of the previous hosting arrangement that GDS had in place with AWS, with data shared by public sector-focused market intelligence company, Tussell, confirming this latest contract brings the department’s total spend with AWS to around £24.5m.

As a result, this latest deal could potentially double the department’s total spend with AWS to-date, although the £12m is classified as a “possible maximum spend”, rather than guaranteed spend, at this point.

The role of GDS is to centrally develop and rollout digital services for use by other government departments, and its activities are overseen by the Cabinet Office.

Computer Weekly contacted the Cabinet Office for further comment on the contract, in terms of how it feeds into the work GDS does, and received the following comment in response. “Amazon Web Services is just one of the Government’s thousands of cloud service providers and our procurement decisions are always based on getting value for taxpayers and the best quality services,” the spokesperson said.

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The contract award notice for the hosting arrangement confirms the deal is set to run until 30 June 2023, having come into force on 1 July 2021.

The document also confirms the deal has been awarded  via the G-Cloud 12 framework, in line with the terms of Amazon’s UK Volume Commitment Programme (UKVCP), which provides cloud buyers with access to discounts on AWS services if they commit to signing a two-year deal with the company.

The discounts received depends on how much the department commits to spending, and the contract award notice confirms GDS will receive a discounted rate of 11% on AWS’s services.

In a mailout to subscribers, Dale Peters, research director at IT analyst house TechMarketView, shared data that shows AWS is continuing to do well out of the government’s G-Cloud procurement framework.

“In the first half of the 2021 calendar year, AWS has received £63.1m via G-Cloud, up 16% on the same period in 2020,” wrote Peters.

“Its biggest customers during the period were HMRC (£20.2m), Home Office (£19.0m), DWP (£7.7m), Scottish Government (£3.3m), and MoJ (£2.0m). GDS was next on the list, so AWS will be glad to secure its custom for another two years.”

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