G-Cloud tips for buyers
Even with all the attention G-Cloud is getting, we're still finding buyers aren’t totally comfortable with the framework. Here’s an overview of the buying process and a few tips to make your buying journey a little smoother.
Through G-Cloud, public sector bodies can purchase commodity cloud solutions or services. There are over 30,000 services listed on the current iteration of the framework G-Cloud 11, and these belong to over 4,000 suppliers.
The framework is broken down into 3 categories or Lots:
- Cloud Hosting – This is for cloud platform or infrastructure services that help buyers do at least one of the following: deploy, manage and run software and provision and use processing, storage or networking resources
- Cloud Software – Suppliers in this Lot provide applications that are typically accessed over a public or private network e.g. the internet and hosted in the cloud.
- Cloud Support – This Lot is for accompanying services that will help buyers set up and maintain their cloud software or hosting services.
Why should buyers use G-Cloud?
Quite simply buyers should use G-Cloud because it is easy, cost effective and provides access to a variety of services from a wide range of suppliers.
But how do you buy?
Services on G-Cloud can be procured in just 6 steps:
- Search – Type in keywords and phrases based on the kind of services you require into the relevant Lot. Use the filters on the left-hand side to refine as necessary. And, remember to save your search so you can log back in later.
- Export your results – Export your search in order to keep a record of the services you’ve found. Only export your search when you are happy with the results and ready to assess, because you can’t make any further changes to your search results after they have been exported.
- Assess your services – follow CCS guidance on how to assess your services and choose the one that best fits your needs.
- Award the contract – Contact your chosen supplier and let them know you’ve awarded the contract and then fill out the Call-Off Contract.
- Complete the benefit form – Once you’ve awarded a contract don’t forget to fill out your customer benefits form and email it to Crown Commercial Service.
Sounds too good to be true, right? Wrong! G-Cloud really is that simple to use.
Here’s our top tips when buying through G-Cloud:
- Define your requirements before you start searching and bear in mind whether you will need to get spend approvals and factor this in.
- Check out the government guidance on choosing technology if you aren’t familiar with it already or this is your first tech purchase.
- Get the people involved who will be using the services, don’t just leave it all to procurement.
- Chat with suppliers before searching, understand what’s on the market and its capabilities.
- After completing the step above you will have a better sense of your own requirements so you can create a list that has your ‘must haves’ and ‘nice-to-haves’ clearly labelled.
- We mentioned it in the 6 buying steps but it is so important it is worth repeating, be sure to keep an audit trail!
So, there you have it. A whistle stop tour of buying through G-Cloud! The process is very painless and efficient, having used it to assist a variety of public sector buyers it really is our preferred way to procure cloud technology. But, if you are still unsure of the steps or would like some support in choosing the right cloud service for your organisation, get in touch and we’d be happy to help you take advantage of the wonder that is G-Cloud!