G-Cloud 2 Goes Live With 458 Suppliers

The second iteration of the government’s G-Cloud went live today, with 458 suppliers, many of them small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs).

see also: The G-Cloud programme

The G-Cloud which promotes a common platform for procuring the technology behind government services, was created by the Labour regime under Gordon Brown, and the coalition is hoping it will provide major cost savings as well as making govenment services more flexible.

The latest framework, which will last 12 months, differs from the original G-Cloud in a number of ways. There are now over 3000 services available – double that of G-Cloud 1.
Three quarters of suppliers are also SMBs. The G-Cloud had been criticised by certain SMBs who claimed the large, traditional providers were still getting the biggest deals over the framework. But head of the G-Cloud, Denise McDonagh, said 75 percent of the spend through that framework was with SMBs.

G-Cloud 2 filling the gaps
“These new services cover a much broader range with some of the gaps we had in G-Cloud i now filled,” a blog post from the G-Cloud Team read.
There are a couple of key differences from last time round namely that the contract term is longer, the value has increased and we’ve done a lot of work around the data protection and liability sections.” It still has the CloudStore, from where government bodies can purchase cloud-based goods and services.
“This second G-Cloud procurement builds on the success of the first. It will continue the transformation in how the public sector buys, manages and delivers IT services, and how suppliers work with government, driving greater efficiency and savings for the taxpayer,” said minister for the Cabinet Office Francis Maude.
“As well as focusing on efficiency and reducing costs, the government is committed to supporting economic growth. Part of this is about leveling the playing field for small and medium-sized firms by making it simpler, quicker and cheaper for them to compete for government business.”
Whilst there are many SMBs on board, some of the best known cloud suppliers are on the framework, including HP, Microsoft, Oracle and Salesforce.com
There are a number of noticeable absences, however, including Amazon Web Services and Google. There were a total of 662 expressions of interest from suppliers, but it is not clear whether Amazon or Google bid to be part of the framework.
The G-Cloud has seen some big deals in the last year. As of September 2012, public sector spend on IT services through CloudStore totaled £2.28m.
“The UK government now has a tremendous opportunity to end the era of IT projects that run over budget and behind schedule. That’s great news for the UK taxpayer,” added Salesforce.com’s EMEA chairman Dr Steve Garnett.

by Tom Brewster

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