A Lotta Changes to G-Cloud 9
Now most of us have had time to process the fairly significant changes to G-Cloud issued last week by GDS, there is an awful lot of confusion in the marketplace! So, here’s my take on it.
I don’t think it’s all bad!
A few pointers below:
1. Lots 1 & 2 (IaaS & PaaS) are now merged to become Lot 1: Cloud Hosting. To me, this makes total sense! And, the new Lot has some additional categorisation and sub-categorisation which will make the search & filter function work much better for buyers.
2. Lot 3 (SaaS) isnow Lot 2: Cloud Software. The additional categorisation here is good, with a vast set of sub-categories that, again, should make filtering and selection much easier – for example the ICT category now has 41 sub-categories!
3. Lot 4 (SCS) is now Lot 3: Cloud Support. Personally not too keen on this change, as the field has been narrowed to a small set of Service Types (Planning, Set-up & Migration, QA & Performance Testing, Security, On-going Support & Training). However these can cover a multitude of “sins” so expect creative submissions from Application & Web developers, agile project management consultancies and Resourcing firms.
4. Changes to the Security assertions:
a. Updated versions to take into account the new NCSC Cloud Security requirements
b. Removal of the “how do you assure your assertion” – no more “I say so!”
There are also more cross-lot changes such as:
– Ability to submit without a Service Definition (SD)
o Long term this is a good thing as the quality of a lot of SDs was shockingly poor. However we recommend companies continue submitting these for the time being as buyers are notoriously slow to change. Well-crafted and detailed SDs are a great way to evaluate and down-select, especially in a crowded market.
– Ability to publicly explain your answers.
o There are boxes on the SSP worksheet that give suppliers an opportunity to outline how their service actually operates. All told on Cloud Software you can submit up to something like 55 different free-text boxes with word counts up to 50 words for each. We think we’re looking at something like 2000 words MAX per submission.
Overall these changes seem to have been very much thought of from a Buyers perspective. There’s a lot more Local Govt-specific sub-categories in the Software section which, if the much discussed 3 year call off period is implemented, will really give Local Gov (currently 2nd highest spender in UK PS) very little excuse not to use G-Cloud anymore. On the downside, there will be more work for suppliers, lots of confusion as to what can and can’t be submitted and of course inconsistency of use as the framework & changes bed in. So, no major gripes from us, although we haven’t seen the revised Framework Terms as yet….
My biggest concern right now is Framework overload (not for us, but for our SME clients). We have already seen 4 IT-related frameworks with cross-over services launched last quarter (Test Services, Cyber Services 2, DOS2, Consultancy 2) which were particularly exhausting from an application perspective (DOS2 aside). Apparently the £2-4bn Tech Services 2 is to be launched at the same time as G-Cloud 9 which I think is a shocking mistake. CCS will be basically handing the keys to the door to the Big SI’s / Service companies…. They may have underestimated the work (it was supposed to go live in Nov 2016) but shouldn’t be taking it out on the SME community! …. maybe Emma Jones should be having a quiet word?