The next iteration of G-Cloud will see its biggest Lot "tightened up" to reduce any crossover with the new Digital Outcomes and Specialists (DOS) framework.
G-Cloud 8 is due to open for applications today ahead of a scheduled go-live date of 1 August and it will be the first iteration of the framework to launch since the DOS framework started. The Digital Marketplace – the umbrella organisation for both – said that with that in mind, the scope for G-Cloud will be tightened up to give it even more focus on cloud.
G-Cloud is split into four Lots: IaaS, PaaS, SaaS and Specialist Cloud Services (SCS), respectively – the latter of which is by far the largest. Despite its cloudy name, SCS is often used to place digital specialists in temporary roles, the Digital Marketplace admitted.
But now that DOS – which specialises in this – is up and running, G-Cloud is being tightened up so it has a clearer cloud focus.
"Since April, the public sector has been able to find suppliers to work on their digital projects through the DOS framework on the Digital Marketplace," a blog released today said. "Because buyers can now find digital specialists through this framework instead, it's a good time to tighten up the scope of the SCS category."
In G-Cloud 8, the scope of the Lot is being tightened up. In the description of SCS, rather than simply saying SCS might provide "deployment, transition management, user management and information management and continuity", the new description will state that suppliers might provide "deployment of cloud services, transition management to cloud services, user management of cloud services, and cloud information management and digital continuity".
Kate Craig-Wood (pictured), managing director of G-Cloud supplier Memset, described the changes as "long overdue" but welcomed them all the same.
"A large number of departments have been using Lot 4 basically as an easy purchase route for any sort of hired help in any consultancy," she said.
"So when you look at the spend figures, last year, nearly 80 per cent of [overall sales] were through SCS, and this year it is about 75 per cent. In theory, if it was consultancy services pertaining to the sort of things they are now talking about – migration to cloud, IT health checks – you'd expect the majority of spend to be on actual cloud services through the as-a-service Lots. There has clearly been some abuse of that aspect of the framework to date.
"For those of us who are actually selling cloud services, we very much welcome it.
"It has generally not been a helpful thing because it makes G-Cloud look more of a success than it actually is."
"People say 'oh, you're using cloud?', but actually, they are using the same old consultants."
G-Cloud supplier Ancoris' managing director David McLeman also welcomed the changes.
"If you look back at the first couple of G-Cloud iterations, then the majority of sales through SCS were specialist cloud services," he told CRN. "What I think happened was because G-Cloud is a vehicle which allowed IT SMEs to engage with the government more flexibly, that blurred the lines.
"In a sense, it is good that smaller IT service providers can do business with the government, but maybe G-Cloud was not the right vehicle to do that. Tightening it up and getting more clarity is good news."
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