Part 5: The Future of G-Cloud 8 and beyond…
In Part 5 we look at the potential to increase the take up of the G-Cloud framework, specifically outside of Central Government, the WPS, where adoption is slow.
First apologies for the radio silence. I was waylaid by dental surgery last week and am only really back to full fitness now. So carrying on from our series on G-Cloud 8 and our thoughts on the future of the framework. In parts 1-4 we talked mainly about technical aspects of the framework:
– Structure in part 1
– Updating services in part 2
– Feedback in part 3
– Call off & MISO in part 4
From now onwards we are going to talk about on possible ideas to expand the take up of the framework across other parts of the Public Sector such as Local Government, Education, Charities & Housing Associations (Known as Wider Public Sector or WPS) etc. There are between 33,000 & 38,000 potential buying organisations that can use the framework. (email us for the list).
At the last published monthly G-Cloud spend figures 75% went to Central Gov & 25% to WPS (Feb 2016).
There have been consistent calls that WPS ignores G-Cloud as
– its not suited to them (ie it’s a CG thing)
– the 2 year term isn’t long enough
– can’t get the services on it
– don’t understand it
– have other frameworks to use
However it seems to work fine for other authorities that are seriously engaged with Digital Transformation such as Bristol, Brighton, Hounslow, etc (Bristol in particular has spent a whopping £11m through G-Cloud, find more info here.)
So what’s the real deal behind this? Well look at the history. G-Cloud was pootling along and looking like a nice idea but going nowhere until 2 things happened in mid – 2013:
1. Central Government Cloud First Policy kicked in
2. Control transferred to GDS & Tony Singletons team
So we have the foresight of one person to thank for Cloud First – take a bow Denise McDonagh! And another (final) bow for Tony (as he leaves GDS to head up BIS’ Digital Operations team) for the development of something that Central Government buyers could use.
As a buyer of services on G-Cloud – see some of our work below:
I cannot stress how easy the Digital Marketplace is to use. Whenever we show buyers (usually at the behest of our clients) how the buying process works the common remark is – “that’s just too easy!!” They then spend another two months with their legal and other procurement colleagues checking out that the process is right. Before finally embracing the fact that they now have a way of delivering on a often punishing workload.
So how to get this message to the WPS? We have three suggestions on the matter
Crown Commercial Services & the Digital Marketplace team do run a series of webinars and face to face seminars specifically aimed at WPS buyers to show them how to use the framework. But ultimately these are pretty small teams and don’t have that much marketing budget. So as part of the GDS budget increase some should go to the DM team to Increase the marketing & education budget, run more webinars, get more case studies out there, use video and all the digital tools that are out there. Especially more work needs to be done in educating Government lawyers on how it all works as these guys are often the blockers not procurement.
Suppliers to do more
Suppliers have a great tool at their disposal too. Without exception all the ones that are successful on G-Cloud have taken time to work out how the framework is supposed to work and embed this in their customer facing teams. Not just sales but engineers, marketers, operations & customer support people as well. In fact if I am utterly honest it was a supplier that showed me the benefits & ease of G-Cloud at v1 in August 2012 (and of course I spent 2 months checking that I wasn’t being lied to as it seemed to good to be true at the time).
We offer training courses now on this via TechUK but these are sold out until September now so this isn’t a plug! Get to know the buying process – check it out here. It will help you help your buyers.
Not just Central Government but for the Whole Public Sector.
Ok this is the big one. So in the old adage you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink. It was the same for G-Cloud until Cloud First for Central Government kicked in in 2013. The UK Public sector need to transform whether it likes it or not. A policy to ensure all Public Sector organisations
– do not engage in long term Outsourcing deals
– No longer build out their own Datacentres
– Use cloud first for all new digital services
– Use G-Cloud as a means to procure
…is long overdue and should be high on the list of the Matt Hancocks to do list. Former Cloudstore founder Mark Craddock agrees:
I heard recently some great economics of the effect of a Cloud first policy in all public sector on UK productivity and innovation. I wish I was confident enough I this to talk it through, but I’ve gone on long enough as it is.
Anyone else agree with the above or have other suggestions as to how to get the WPS to buy more Cloud?
If the thought of the potential for G-Cloud 8 sales excites you please do contact us for a chat around our new Fast Start execution services aimed at accelerating your UK Gov business. You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call on 01273 974 414