SMBs are still losing out to larger firms under G-Cloud as accreditation and security expectations act as a blocker.
This is according to a new SMB pressure group called the 10% Group, formed by Kate Craig-Wood (pictured), founder of Memset, in response to a request from the Cabinet Office to extract feedback from SMBs and their experience to date with G-Cloud.
The group – formed with representatives from Asidua, Automated Intelligence, Hao2, Digi2al, Magic Milestones and Shaping Cloud, claimed that while G-Cloud is starting to change the way the public sector buys commodity IT services, it still has a long way to go.
It claimed new entrants are being stalled by PSN not delivering IL3-accredited connection services yet, combined with G-Cloud accreditation processes being a moving target and very labour intensive.
As a result, the 10% Group claims that SMBs have received only 10 per cent of the awarded G-Cloud contracts, despite government pledges to award 25 per cent of public sector spend to SMBs.
Craig-Wood said in a statement: “As well as heading up the 10% Group, I have also been appointed to the European Cloud Partnership (ECP) steering board with the mandate of representing all British SMEs’ interests.
"With the help of my team I am collating the views, issues, troubles and successes of these groups and feeding them back into Intellect, the Cabinet Office, G-Cloud programme and ECP.”
However the Cabinet Office disputed the figures, stating that in fact over 50 per cent of G-Cloud deals had been awarded to SMBs.
A Cabinet Office representative said in a statement: “G-Cloud allows the public sector to buy the IT services they need when they need them, rather than forcing them to design complex solutions from scratch. There are now 832 suppliers and over 7,000 services on the frameworks, with cumulative spend now reaching £31.2 million. We anticipate that our cloud first policy will result in 50 per cent of new central government IT spend being procured through the CloudStore by 2015.”
“SMEs are a key driver for the country’s economic growth, and G-Cloud is reducing red tape and making it simpler and cheaper for smaller companies to join the G-Cloud supplier framework and win business. Our latest G-Cloud sales information shows that this is working, with 56.4 per cent of total sales by value and 62.1 per cent by number having been awarded to SMEs," the representative added.
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