G-Cloud: Government ICT procurement and the opportunity for SMEs
We all know about the speed of change in digital technology. We see it around us every day. Cloud computing is at the heart of these changes, and has brought about a step change in the economics and sustainability of Information and Communication Technology.
UK Government is committed to the adoption of cloud computing, and through its G-Cloud procurement framework, it is delivering fundamental changes in the way the public sector procures and operates ICT.
In February 2012, G-Cloud was unveiled by the Government Digital Service. It heralded their commitment to the adoption of cloud computing, and to delivering fundamental changes in the way the public sector procures and operates ICT.
So what does this mean for small businesses in the IT space? And two years on, what have we learned?
At HTK, we’re an SME with a cloud-based software platform. HTK Horizon is used by businesses to understand their customer data, and use it to engage their customers with more targeted communications across a range of mobile channels.
Our experiences demonstrate how G-Cloud can act as a shop window for SMEs to present their services to prospective buyers. We’ve been on G-Cloud since its launch, and the process is not too time consuming. The time we invested has certainly been worthwhile. We’ve already been successful in securing new business directly through the G-Cloud framework, for example with Defra.
And there’s real benefit for Government procurement teams too. G-Cloud procurement is quick, and makes the process of identifying suitable potential suppliers much simpler. Public sector procurement teams can be confident that the services available via G-Cloud are already accredited to government standards.
A year on from the initial launch of G-Cloud, and we’re seeing the launch of G-Cloud iii. For me, the more frequent competition of the Framework is a tangible demonstration of government's desire to change the way it procures IT services.
The whole aim of G-Cloud is to get the right bidders bidding, in an area where government spends a lot of money, ICT. And that means more business for innovative SMEs - which is very exciting.
Justin Bowser, Head of Online, HTK