G-cloud is a framework on which supplier cloud-based solutions have been made available through a catalogue known as the Digital Marketplace. And, G-Cloud framework is the place to be if your company is considering selling its cloud-based solutions to the UK government. The Digital Marketplace and all the frameworks within it are managed by Crown Commercial Service (CCS), which is an executive agency and trading arm of the UK Government’s Cabinet Office. The role of CCS is to improve commercial and procurement activity by the government. The framework was opened back in 2012 and is currently in its 11th iteration known as G-Cloud 11. So, far, there have been ten calls for contract, in which suppliers were able to list their services on G-Cloud. And, the framework is uncapped, allowing an unlimited number of suppliers to join it with compliant applications.
The G-Cloud framework is divided into separate categories known as Lots that supplier can apply for. The number of Lots that a supplier can apply for is dependent on the solutions that they are offering to the public sector. G-Cloud 11 currently has three Lots. These include Cloud hosting (IaaS and PaaS) services that help buyers deploy, manage, and run software and provision whilst using storage, processing or networking resources. Cloud Software services (SaaS), which are for applications typically accessed over a private or public network, and Cloud Support, which is for services designed to assist buyers with setting up and maintaining their cloud software or hosting services.
Since the inception of the framework, there has been over £4.5bn worth of sales through G-Cloud, with over 40% of the total spend awarded to SMEs. The central government makes up for the majority of the business through G-Cloud, which could be in part due to the UK governments’ commitment to spending £1 in every £3 with small UK businesses by 2020. In addition, G-Cloud provides easy access to a wide range of smaller suppliers.
When it comes to G-Cloud uptake, it has been slower in terms of local governments and the wider sector. Because of this, more needs to be done when it comes to engaging the wider sector to use G-Cloud 10 by both CCS and the suppliers themselves. Advice to suppliers is to make an effort to educate public sector buyers on the benefits of procuring through G-Cloud.
Whilst the G-Cloud framework does not impose number restrictions onto suppliers, it does have its own set of rules and regulations that must be adhered to. As a result, not every company can get on the framework. Suppliers must be offering a cloud-based solution; no hardware solutions can be listed on the framework. And, the suppliers must fit into one of the G-Cloud Lots. ‘Colocation’ services are also banned, and it is not a framework for those offering bespoke development. However, if this is the case, you may be eligible to list on the Digital Outcomes and Specialists (DOS) framework instead. Learn more about your eligibility at https://ukcloud.com/g-cloud-11/.
The G-Cloud framework has a number of benefits for both suppliers and buyers. For suppliers, G-Cloud is open to suppliers of all sizes, providing a solution to smaller suppliers who may have previously found it difficult to invest resources and time into a lengthy framework application process. And, the simplified application process provides a fairer, more competitive marketplace for suppliers. For buyers, it has become easier to learn more about smaller suppliers who could best meet their needs, and the faster procurement process means that there is a reduced cost. In fact, for each £1 spent on the framework, a further £1 is saved.
If you are supplying or considering buying a UK cloud-based solution, the G-Cloud framework is the place to be!