Several G-Cloud suppliers have penned an open letter to the government that advises them on how to do more to ensure the lasting success of the public sector IT procurement system.
The letter, which was sent on 9 January, praises the way that the G-Cloud framework has “revolutionised” IT procurement in the UK public sector adding that it must now evolve in order to meet the growing demands of the market in which it sits.
Skyscape Cloud Services co-signed the letter along with 14 partners and stakeholders that include Azeus UK, Bird and Bird, Datatank, Huddle, Informed Solutions, Konetic, Lockheed Martin UK, MDS Technologies, Osborne Clarke, Roc Technologies, SFW, The Agile Consultancy and Vysionics ITS.
The letter is divided up into six distinct sections that all offer a different type of advice about the service. The first piece of advice relates to the government increasing understanding around how to buy from the CloudStore, the shop front procurement portal. The group recommends that a system be implemented that allows variances from the G-Cloud buying guide to be reported to the G-Cloud team.
Secondly the companies are requesting that the call-off contract term be increased to a maximum of three years from the two years that it currently is, in order to increase the immediate uptake of cloud services.
Clear guidance regarding changes to Government Security Classification Policy [GPMS] coming in at the start of April is something that is needed as it will help the buyers to decide on the best course of action to take regarding G-Cloud 5, which is expected to commence a procurement round in February.
Next it wants to see G-Cloud transactions subjected to greater transparency including an opportunity pipeline being published that shows suppliers the department that are planning to procure services and when they will do so.
Fifth on the list of recommendations again concerns the CloudStore with a key recommendation that relationships should be shown between solutions to show which ones work well together. In addition, there should be a similar situation to retail sites in that related purchases are shown.
Lastly, the group criticised the presence of “Cloudwash,” which it says has allowed companies offering no cloud services to be submitted onto the framework. It urges the GDS, which oversees G-Cloud, to review what suppliers are offering and remove those that don’t offer cloud services.
Related: Has the G-Cloud been a success?
The government launched G-Cloud in February 2012 and even though uptake among some councils and local authorities has been low, many have praised the way it has simplified public sector IT procurement.