Are You An IT Supplier to the UK Government? Or Do You Want to Be?

There’s an interesting event a week today - December 9th - which I’m attending and possibly participating in a panel discussion. But unusually for me, the THINK Cloud Vendors event is aimed at solution providers rather than procurement people. Specifically, it is looking at the UK government’s G-Cloud and the CloudStore, now renamed the Digital Marketplace.

That enables public sector buyers to access and purchase a wide range of digital-related IT products and services through a simpler mechanism than the traditional, often long-winded and formal EU-type tendering process. It has been presented as a big success by Francis Maude, Minister for the Cabinet Office and senior officials, and it has been a worthwhile initiative in our view, although it should be noted that it still only accounts for a small proportion of total government IT spend.

Hundreds of suppliers have successfully gained a place as an “approved supplier” but there is still a lot of confusion in the market around the G-Cloud. Some IT providers are still unsure exactly how to go about getting listed; or what the scope of the products and services is that can be sold through the marketplace. Others make the wrong assumptions about what will happen if they do get a place! And very few people on the supply side really understand how buyers think and operate, let alone the EU procurement regulations that still apply, even to sexy new initiatives like this.

Those and other key issues will be discussed at the event next week, with what looks like a good line up of speakers from government, (including Crown Commercial Services and the Government Digital Service), the IT industry and external experts and commentators.

If you are a provider looking to get onto the G-Cloud, or wondering how to get more value from your current place on the framework, then it looks like a worthwhile investment. The full-day event is being held at Canary Wharf, next Tuesday and you can find out a lot more and book here.

Voices (2)

  1. Dave Mischief:

    If the Governement wanted the wider public sector to use G-Cloud surely they wouldn’t have made it so unusual and would have made greater effort to explain how the process should be used.

    Recently a group of procurers from across the HE and LG sectors wanted to learn how to use G-Cloud however the rep from CCS wasn’t able to explain how it worked and couldn’t bring anyone along who could.

    1. Peter Smith:

      That’s really bad. Who was the rep from CCS? (Let me know privately if you want to at psmith@spendmatters(dot)com) I can have a quiet word – sounds like there is a training need there that needs to be identified by Ms Collier.
      G-Cloud is unusual but I don’t think it is particularly complex, it is a frameworks with regularly updated “lots” and the usual EU Regs apply. I felt that initially there was some mis-information – the suggestion that you could just “choose whoever you want” from the lists but I think the advice now does talk about the likely need for competition etc.

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