A G-Cloudy horizon
The recently opened G-Cloud 13 framework aims to help customers in the UK public sector find and buy cloud computing services. Merewyn Sayers says it’s time to reach for the sky
What do you picture when you see or hear the word “cloud”?
For me, like many others, it used to be purely a weather related term. Now, though, it reflects the increasing prevalence of computing services delivered over the internet. From Facebook to Gmail, Dropbox to Slack, cloud-based services have rapidly become a vital component of the technology we all rely on day in, day out.
And government is no exception.
G-Cloud (Government Cloud) facilitates and supports UK public sector organisations as they buy and adopt cloud based IT services and support. But this is no new phenomenon.
Back in 2013, the UK government introduced a Cloud First Policy to encourage public sector organisations to use cloud-based technologies, rather than on-premises alternatives. The aim was to shift government spending to cloud-based services, as well as diversify the supplier base and give greater opportunity to smaller businesses.
Since then, spending on G-Cloud has increased year on year and is now well over £1.5bn per annum – so it’s well worth investigating if your business includes digital services.
G-Cloud also includes a series of framework agreements, as well as an online store – the Digital Marketplace – which is essentially a catalogue of technology suppliers and purchase services that public sector organisations can use.
As we explained last year, frameworks are agreements between suppliers and the government, where all suppliers agree to the same terms at the time of application. Public sector organisations can then buy services without the need to run a full tender or competition procurement process.
The G-Cloud framework covers three categories of cloud services – hosting, software, and support.
- Cloud hosting: infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) and platform-as-a-service (PaaS) offerings.
- Cloud software: software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications.
- Cloud support: support and maintenance services for cloud hosting and software.
A new version of the G-Cloud framework is normally released about every six to nine months, with the most recent, G-Cloud 13, which went live last month. Its closing date is 18th May 2022, so if you provide Cloud Hosting, Cloud Software or Support to use Cloud hosting or software, what are you waiting for? Let’s get down to business!