It’s all change at the UK Government’s cloud procurement framework in the run up to the launch of G-Cloud 6.
But if you thought that gave you the opportunity to catch your breath, think again. Earlier this month suppliers were invited to submit tenders to ensure their cloud-based services will be available via G-Cloud 6, which goes live in February 2015.
As a result, hundreds of suppliers are now registering with the Crown Commercial Service’s BravoSolution tool to ensure they meet the submission deadline of 17 December 2014. If successful, suppliers will see their services listed on the Digital Marketplace when G-Cloud 6 is launched.
1,500 suppliers – and growing
So what’s the big deal with the new iteration of the G-Cloud?
First of all, it’s almost certainly going to offer the public sector a much greater choice of cloud service providers, including more SMEs. The Digital Marketplace already has over 1,500 registered suppliers and, in August, sales broke through the £300m mark. These figures are both set to soar.
There’s also fast-growing interest in the G-Cloud from the public sector itself. That’s partly because the Crown Commercial Service and the Government Digital Service haven’t been afraid to spread the word. By teaming up with techUK, they’ve provided public sector buyers with a series of regional events that help them get to grips with the changes, and provide one-to-one advice on buying via the Digital Marketplace.
With more choice, more suppliers, and SMEs taking an increasing share of the market, it seems that G-Cloud 6 is going to be a resounding success.
We see no reason why it won’t be, but as we’ve mentioned before there is still one potential fly in the ointment – cloud security.
With the transition to the new Digital Marketplace, the G-Cloud is moving to a model of self-assertion requiring suppliers to just document the security of their cloud services.
Since July this year, suppliers can no longer apply for, Pan Government Accreditation (PGA) to demonstrate officially how secure their cloud services are. It remains to be seen whether public sector buyers are put off by this lack of assured accreditation, especially as the marketplace is currently divided between services (like Kahootz) that have already been awarded PGA status and those that haven’t. Influential players in the marketplace, including Gartner, are already advising buyers to choose PGA certified solutions over the next 9 months – so it will take time before G-Cloud 6 truly becomes a level playing field.
We’re currently ensuring that our cloud collaboration software Kahootz will be available via G-Cloud 6, but we’re truly excited to see which other services join us in February. It’s going to be good news for SMEs like us, but thanks to greater choice and take-up, even better for the public sector as a whole.