How can UK SMEs benefit from the launch of G-Cloud 10?

 

Despite previous predictions pushing the launch of G-Cloud 10 as far back as 2019, the Cabinet Office Minister for Implementation Oliver Dowden has announced that the launch will take place in June 2018.

What is G Cloud?

G Cloud (short for Government Cloud) is the government’s flagship cloud services framework. At its most basic level, it is an agreement between the government and suppliers who offer cloud-based services.

Through the G-Cloud, UK public sector bodies can access a wide range of pre-vetted vendors and services, through transparent, accessible and competitive online platform, known as the Digital Marketplace. Central government, local councils, NHS Trusts and other public sector bodies are able to procure cloud-based services such as web hosting from one centralised website, leading to significant savings in time and effort expended.

There is currently very little information available on G Cloud 10 and what changes will be made. At the moment, Cloud 9 offers access to 2,856 service suppliers across three categories or ‘lots’:

·         cloud hosting, for example, content delivery networks or load balancing services

·         cloud software, such as accounting tools or customer service management software

·         cloud support, such as migration services or ongoing support

 

How can SMEs benefit from G Cloud?

In addition to the great benefits enjoyed by the public sector, the service providers in the private sector have benefited in a multitude of ways. There have been nine iterations of the G-Cloud since the release of the first version in February 2012. Since then, public sector buyers have spent over £2.8 billion with private sector companies.

 SMEs make up around 90% of the suppliers on G-Cloud with small IT suppliers accounting for 48% of total sales, making this initiative a strong boost to businesses across the UK, and opening this dynamic market as an appealing opportunity for new service provider entrants.

Oliver Dowden, Minister for Implementation, said the following about UK SMEs:

“Small businesses are the backbone of our economy, so it’s crucial that we listen to them when shaping policy, as we have done today.”

 

How can my SME benefit from G Cloud?

You have to wait until the bidding goes live in April, but apart from that, there are no barriers for you to enter your cloud service offering. As long as your company offers services in one of the three lots - cloud hosting, software or support – you are free to apply. You can only do this when an Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) contract notice has been issued. At that point, you will have 4 to 6 weeks to apply to the framework. On average, a contract notice will be issued every 6 to 9 months. If your application is successful, buyers will be able to find your services on the Digital Marketplace.

G Cloud offers many benefits to SMEs. Your business gets a much wider exposure and the respectability that comes with being a chosen provider for a public sector body, leading to increased profitability, brand recognition and trustworthiness in the eyes of potential clients. Another benefit is that everyone gets an equal chance at winning business through the bidding process. Do not be deterred by the competition because you stand a strong chance at beating it.  And finally, it helps your SME to become more well rounded by having clients in both the private and public sectors. This allows you to refine your service offering and make it a truly comprehensive and competitive solution for any interest parties.

Who can apply?

While G-Cloud a UK government framework, you do not need to be based in the UK to provide your services on G-Cloud. G-Cloud is open to cloud service suppliers of any size. In the past, smaller suppliers may have found it challenging to invest their time and effort in the lengthy application process. This process has now been simplified, creating a fairer marketplace that is more open to competition. 

In conclusion

With the date for the launch of G Cloud 10 confirmed, suppliers of cloud-based services will be able to bid to provide their solutions via the new framework from April. The announcement suggested that G-Cloud 10 could eventually be worth £600m. A full report of G-Cloud sales can be found on the Crown Commercial Service website, and reveals very interesting insights into which public sector bodies are taking full advantage of the tool and provides information on not only who spent what, but also on which SMEs have successfully pitched their services and been able to grow their businesses through G Cloud.

For us at Certes Computing, we have been able to win over significant business through G Cloud by providing our specialist services. If you would like to learn more about the services we offer, please refer to our Turnkey information page which will tell you more about our managed services offering. Alternatively, get in touch by e-mailing enquiries@certes.co.uk or calling our team on 44 (0) 1675 468 968.

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