The UK government’s G-Cloud framework and Cloud Store have helped public sector organisations unlock over £120m in savings, according to chief operations officer and deputy director of operations for the Government Digital Service, Tony Singleton.
In a blog posted earlier this week, Singleton claims that purchases made through G-Cloud have seen organisations make an average saving of around 50%.
G-Cloud is simple, clear, fast and saving government money
Singleton further contends that:
“Other benefits [public sector] buyers have spoken about include greater transparency; flexibility; a simpler, clearer, faster way to buy and ultimately better value for the taxpayer – once the requirement has been defined, we have put a contract in place in three minutes!”
Adding that a report would come out on this topic shortly, Singleton says that
“G-Cloud is about more than sales; it is about transforming the way the public sector buys cloud-based services, and it is one of the frameworks supporting a wider business IT transformation,” wrote Singleton in the blog post.
“We need to ensure that everyone involved with IT both in central government and the wider public sector, fully understands the benefits of cloud technologies as well as how G-Cloud works and the benefits it offers.”
The news comes just weeks after the Home Office’s CTO and former head of G-Cloud, Denise McDonagh, called on the Cabinet Office to increase visibility over the G-Cloud programme to counteract a lack of education and knowledge, particularly at a local government level, about the framework.
Overcoming G-Cloud’s Challenges
While there is unanimity that G-Cloud has transformed IT procurement in the public sector, according to Bryan Glick of ComputerWeekly, “there is one recurring criticism of G-Cloud, [and that is] that not enough people are using it.”
Uptake is slow and awareness outside of central government is low.
Part of the problem, according to some critics, is that G-Cloud is under-funded. Former G-Cloud director Chris Chant has called for greater investment saying the initiative is “woefully underfunded” and that the Cabinet Office has reneged on promises for staffing.
Another issue that is impeding G-Cloud’s proliferation is that many of the purchases made through the programme are going to repeat buyers who contribute to the growth in cumulative spending.
Glick notes, for example, how “of the 162 transactions placed by the NHS agency the Care Quality Commission, 50 have gone to supplier Axis12, and 90 to Computacenter, with the remaining 22 deals spread between five companies.”
This has naturally led to complaints from vendors who say it is difficult for their services to stand out from the crowd.
Yet despite these impediments in the journey towards cloud, the GDS is committed to the success of the G-Cloud framework. After all, as Glick notes, the framework is “still a lot better than having 80% of IT spend going to an oligarchy dominated by five or six big suppliers, as has been the case in the past.”
Join Whitehall Media for our 5th Central Government Business and Technology event where we discuss G-Cloud among other initiatives designed to unlock efficiency and value for money across the Civil Service. With hundreds of senior civil servants in attendance, the event will be an excellent opportunity to discuss, synthesise and develop the government’s technology agenda. Please visit www.whitehallmedia.co.uk/cgbt to learn more.