The UK government believes that its plan to get more SMEs selling cloud services to the public sector is paying off, despite concerns that large enterprises dominate the G-Cloud platform.
G-Cloud sales have reached £467m so far, and the government claims that 50 percent of these sales have been made by SMEs.
However, the overall trend for G-Cloud sales by value suggests that larger firms are starting to muscle in, which has raised concerns among SMEs that the old order is returning.
Tony Singleton, G-Cloud director at the Government Digital Service (GDS), said at CloudExpo in London on Thursday that G-Cloud is a clear success for SMEs, which account for 87 percent of the 1,852 suppliers on the Digital Marketplace.
“G-Cloud has helped the growth of small businesses,” he said, claiming that some SMEs have doubled their workforce as a result of being on the G-Cloud framework.
He also highlighted that sales of SME-supplied cloud services through G-Cloud have tripled over the past 18 months.
V3 asked Singleton about the fact that large enterprises now take up 50 percent of G-Cloud sales, and he said that other metrics should be considered when analysing the data to build up a more accurate picture.
“It’s interesting to look beyond the [sales value] figures. When you actually look at the volume of transactions, two-thirds are going to SMEs, which anecdotally suggests that the largest suppliers are charging more [for cloud services].”
Despite this, Singleton said that the government is committed to making it as easy as possible for SMEs to sell to the public sector by keeping G-Cloud attractive and easy to use for smaller suppliers.
“It’s about continually reducing barriers, making it easier for SMEs to go onto the marketplace,” he said.
Singleton also said that GDS will work with public sector organisations that have bought cloud services from SMEs on the G-Cloud platform to show that it is worth their time getting involved. “It’s building that trust in SMEs,” he added.
GDS has plans to work closely with the Crown Commercial Service to improve the overall G-Cloud model and the Digital Marketplace platform.
Singleton highlighted several steps that the departments plan to take, such as increasing awareness and ensuring that the public sector explores a “digital by default” approach to IT procurement.
He added that more work is needed to better identify the services required by the public sector to become more digital, rather than simply adding multiple services to the marketplace.
Singleton explained the how G-Cloud plays a part in the ambition to create government-as-platform to provide a suite of universal services for the public sector to easily integrate into their own services.