G-Cloud 4, the fourth iteration of the pre-approved group of Cloud ICT suppliers to the UK Government, went live this week, with 999 suppliers (PDF) offering their digital services to public-sector buyers.
G4 includes more small and medium-sized suppliers, with 84 percent of the suppliers being SMEs. There was also the inclusion of larger companies like Amazon Web Services, whose absence until now was notable. It also saw the expansion of ICT services such as cloud computing provider iomart Group with its expanded range of cloud and colocation hosting services to the UK public sector.
Debuting in 2012, G-Cloud enabled government customers to procure approved digital services in an online marketplace called the “CloudStore,” streamlining an otherwise lengthy tender process. With the rollout of successive G-Cloud frameworks, those already designated under Giii could choose to remain on the Giii framework, running until May 2014, or carry forward all or some of their services to G4. The Gii framework expired Oct. 27, 2013,
UK IT and telecoms contract specialist Clive Seddon, representing the law firm Pinsent Masons, noted that complex procurement rules and lengthy procurement processes have tended to put off some companies from engaging in public sector IT procurements. E-procurement in the public sector is an emergent trend designed to streamline the procurement process and similar frameworks have been implemented not only in the UK but also Singapore, the US, Malaysia, Australia and the European Union.
The UK’s CloudStore currently provides public-sector agencies access to more than 13,000 services from a total of 1,186 suppliers. Cumulative sales from CloudStore exceeded £50 million (around $80 million) last month.