This article was published on cbronline.com and contains a quote from Rainmaker’s head of public sector Mark Hastings.

Thousands of SMEs – but are they getting the contracts?

The latest iteration of a major government procurement framework, G-Cloud 11, now lists a substantial 4,200 potential public sector IT services suppliers, with a healthy 90+ percent of these being small and medium enterprises (SMEs) the Crown Commercial Services revealed this week.

That’s massively up from the 2,847 companies listed on G-Cloud 9.

G-Cloud was launched in 2012 as a way to make it easier for central government, local councils, NHS Trusts and other public sector bodies to procure commodity IT services that use cloud computing.  It matches customers and potential suppliers via a single, central website. And for those seeking to move away from sprawling conglomerates for their cloud services, it’s clearly a key port of call.

The public sector has procured more than £4.79 billion of cloud and digital services through G-Cloud since the framework’s launch, with £2.15 billion of that being awarded to SMEs. And Niall Quinn, Director of Crown Commercial Service’s Technology Pillar, said in a release shared July 2: “G-Cloud continues to be a major success story for how we drive innovation in the public sector. G-Cloud is all about simplicity, making it as straightforward as possible for customers and suppliers to find each other.”

G-Cloud 11: Choice Galore, But…

One major criticism of the platform however has been that it is not, in fact, particularly simple nor navigable. As Romy Hughes, a director at consultancy Brightman put it in a recent guest article for Computer Business Review: “The G-Cloud appears to struggle under the sheer volume of suppliers listed on the platform.”

“Combine the high volume of suppliers with a search function that struggles to match them to the most relevant opportunities it is no surprise that many government buyers continue to buy the ‘old fashioned way’ outside of the framework. It is difficult to navigate and very unwieldy, and its search engine is clearly not modelled on Google; it simply fails to match contracts to the most relevant suppliers.”

She added: “As an example of the challenges faced by government purchasers in using the framework, many find themselves turning to third parties just to help them navigate the G-Cloud and find the right supplier for their needs. If you have to pay consultants to help you use your own tools, clearly something has gone very wrong.”

Mark Hastings, head of public sector at business transformation specialist Rainmaker Solutions disagrees.

He told Computer Business Review: “I really welcome the number of SMEs on G-Cloud 11. Ten years ago government spending was all with small number of SIs and consultancies; an old boys’ network. G-Cloud was about opening up the government marketplace… about breaking the stranglehold that a few organisations had. This week’s figures are further underlying the progress that G-Cloud is making in opening up choice for public sector buyers.”

He added: “In terms of navigability I think it’s straightforward to use – I’m not convinced the ease of use is the issue. The framework itself is easy to use if you know what you’re looking for it. The CCS are doing a lot of good work at the moment to help the public sector understand the opportunities; it’s a fast, transparent way to do procurement and you can get down to shortlisting pretty rapidly.”

“At a time in which public sector procurement has arguably gone backwards – think ferry companies with no ferries – it’s arguably underutilised; there are a lot of excellent specialists on it.”

For further information, please contact Mark Hastings.

We think you may also like.

This month’s Rainmaker Day was one to remember!

  As usual, Rainmaker’s monthly company get-together involved A LOT of post-its… And this time there was some very memorable and incredibly competitive Lego building too.  We kicked off proceedings with all the exciting and challenging aspects of what 2019 has...

Helping Purley students ‘Get Work Ready’

We were delighted to spend the day at Harris Academy Purley, assisting ELSA Education, (Education, Learning, Skills and Achievement) and Croydon Council at the GET WORK READY…

Rainmaker News

Sign up to get Rainmaker thinking direct to your inbox, just add and send your email in the field below

Email Address Sent!

By signing up with your email address you are giving us the permission to send you Rainmaker related news. We will not share or sell your data with 3rd parties.

Giving Back

We believe everyone should have the opportunity to reach their full potential. This is why why we are part of…

Rainmaker News

Sign up to get Rainmaker thinking direct to your inbox, just add and send your email in the field below

Email Address Sent!

By signing up with your email address you are giving us the permission to send you Rainmaker related news. We will not share or sell your data with 3rd parties 🙂

Giving Back

We believe everyone should have the opportunity to reach their full potential. This is why why we are part of…

Visit us

One Alfred Place

1 Alfred Place

London

WC1E 7EB

United Kingdom

 

Google Map

Get in touch

+44 (0) 330 223 4407

hello@rainmaker.solutions

Products & Services

Lightning Lab

Wemvula

Resourcing Hub

Copyright ©Rainmaker Solutions ltd 2018. All rights reserved. For company information and other legal stuff, see our Legal Page and Privacy Policy.