The government needs to reduce the complexity in G-Cloud and improve communication between public sector bodies and suppliers if the framework is to benefit SMEs, according to cloud MSP Streamwire.
G-Cloud, currently in its eighth iteration, has frequently been criticised over the number of suppliers that secure contracts through the framework, with CRN finding that over 50 per cent of G-Cloud business goes through 30 suppliers.
G-Cloud currently carries 2,726 suppliers, with 757 added for G-Cloud 8.
Streamwire, which is among the firms that have secured a berth on G-Cloud 8, has now claimed the framework needs to do more to help SMEs.
Kevin Timms, COO at Streamwire, told CRN that while the framework is a solid foundation, more needs to be done to help bridge the gap between SMEs and procurers.
Streamwire joined G-Cloud in its seventh iteration but has yet to secure any business through the service.
Timms believes G-Cloud would become more beneficial to SMEs if it improved the way that suppliers interact with public sector procurers.
He said the service needs to provide a more effective way for suppliers to showcase their services and for procurers to explain to suppliers in more detail what they are looking for.
"The framework itself is fine for what it is, but I think we need to build something around it to help," he said.
"It's a fantastic idea – reducing the bureaucracy and trying to make the process easy – but I'm not sure how much more SMEs are getting from it than they were before [the framework existed]."
UKFast CEO Lawrence Jones told CRN that it is the responsibility of both SMEs and the government to improve the effectiveness of the G-Cloud framework.
He said SME newcomers to the framework could be guilty of expecting business to come to them as a result of purely winning a place on the initiative, rather than being proactive in their approach to winning deals.
"They need to remember that G-Cloud is literally just a badge," Jones told CRN.
"It does not give you a guarantee that you're going to win business. You've got the ability to trade business with the government but you've still got to get out there and knock on doors."
While some SMEs may need to try harder, Jones explained that the government also has a role to play in putting more trust in small UK businesses.
He explained that it can be difficult for SMEs that have just joined the framework to muscle in on a share of the business because of the pre-existing relationships that government already has with other firms.
He said he has also seen British businesses losing out because some government organisations have preferred to do their business through one larger, multinational corporation instead of UK SMEs.
"If the government wants to improve efficiency and get a better customer service for it, it should be investigating some of these smaller businesses and looking at what's possible," Jones added.
"If you encourage the government to do that, far more of those small businesses will be able to provide the government with their services."
UKCloud, formerly known as Skyscape, has been on the G-Cloud framework since it launched in 2012 and commercial director Nicky Stewart told CRN that while only a few hundred G-Cloud suppliers are doing business through the framework, this business is split equally between SMEs and larger firms.
She added that, while it can be difficult for smaller businesses to break down established relationships, G-Cloud offers "a level playing field" for newcomers and established suppliers.
"If they [the government] were operating a closed system where they said they'd only let 100 suppliers in and the rest would be unsuccessful then, yes, you could argue that it isn't SME friendly," she said. "But the fact is that they don't limit the suppliers and they don't discriminate against SMEs.
"It's not the way the framework is constructed that is limiting the number of suppliers doing business, it is how they [suppliers] are presenting and what they are presenting."
Highlander MD Steve Brown tells CRN about the skills he learned on the pitch and brought to the boardroom
Reports suggest Dell is pursuing a straightforward IPO, contradicting existing plans to buy out tracking stock holders
Analysts predict upturn in PC market next year, but 2018 to remain plagued by components shortages
Neil Sawyer claims he has 'never seen so many conversations about a new method of investing in workplace technology'