We’re delighted to be approved again as an accredited supplier on the Government’s G-Cloud 5 Framework. G-Cloud aims to provide a dynamic supplier marketplace for government departments to buy cloud-based ICT services. But how’s it working out so far?

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What’s working well?

Our customers tell us that G-Cloud is significantly speeding up the buying process, and saving them lots of time. Traditionally, a formal competitive process would have taken months. But with G-Cloud, it’s now possible to search for accredited suppliers and review their service descriptions to create a shortlist in a matter of hours.

What could be better?

G-Cloud has certainly levelled the playing field, with over 50% of total sales through the G-Cloud Framework now being awarded to SMEs.

However, it’s widely accepted that there’s still a need to raise awareness and adoption of G-Cloud throughout the entire public sector. For example, at last count, 90% of Local Authorities were yet to make a single purchase through G-Cloud, and in a recent survey 80% hadn’t heard about G-Cloud at all.

Which begs the question… how effective can G-Cloud be if a large proportion of the intended audience don’t even know about it?

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What else could be improved? Searching through G-Cloud can be a pretty frustrating experience. It just doesn’t always return the right kind of results – an issue that has been acknowledged by the Government Digital Service (GDS) team.

The launch of G-Cloud 6 this autumn will see the introduction of Digital Marketplace to replace the existing Cloudstore. An improved search tool will look at product titles and product descriptions, and use these to prioritise search results – leading to a much better user experience.

And what does it mean for us as a supplier?

The G-Cloud framework is creating broader awareness amongst suppliers of technology to the public sector. This is creating partnership opportunities, which can only benefit everyone involved.

And with the Government’s Cloud First strategy and focus on Digital by Default, our HTK Horizon platform is proving to be a perfect fit, helping organisations to achieve their digital engagement goals whilst returning rapid ROI. To this end, we work closely with government departments such as SEPA, HMCTS, DEFRA (secured through the G-Cloud framework) and the DWP. For nearly 20 years, our software has helped to improve two-way citizen engagement – by email, SMS, and voice call automation. In the past, we’d have been approached by organisations going out to the market with a predetermined set of specifications. A major benefit of G-Cloud is that we now tend to be more involved in the creation of project specs, where we can contribute with our sector knowledge and expertise.