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G-Cloud must be at the heart of Government SME strategy

Former Culture Secretary Sajid Javid (opens in new tab) has given his first speech in his new role as Business Secretary, revealing new measures to support small businesses and entrepreneurs.

The government claims it will be cutting red tape for business by at least £10 billion over the next five years in a new Enterprise Bill that aims to back business to create jobs.

Whitehall is also introducing a new Small Business Conciliation Service to help settle disputes over payment.

“Small businesses are Britain’s engine room and the success of our whole economy is built on the hard work and determination of the people run and work for them,” Javid claimed (opens in new tab).

“As Business Secretary I will always back them and in my determination to get the job done, one of my first steps will be to bring forward an Enterprise Bill that helps them to succeed and create jobs.

“As part of our long-term economic plan, we will sweep away burdensome red tape, get heavy-handed regulators off firms’ backs and create a Small Business Conciliation Service to help resolve disputes,” he added.

Business Minister Anna Soubry (opens in new tab) has claimed the Bill is “no nonsense” and will back small businesses to help create jobs and create financial security.

Increasing SME opportunities to work with government

However, the recent announcement makes no mentions of how government is going to ensure it reaches its target of doing 25 per cent of all business with SMEs by the end of the year.

G-Cloud supplier Streamwire (opens in new tab) has claimed that if the government is truly going to commit to its target, the cloud procurement framework must be at the heart of its strategy.

“G-Cloud is a brilliant opportunity for the public sector to benefit from the innovation, agility and cost-effectiveness of the SME community and thereby help the government achieve their savings target,” claimed the firm’s CEO Anne Stokes (opens in new tab).

“That being said, breaking through the “low cloud ceiling” is hard, as evidence by the disappointing figures just announced by the Cabinet Office, which show that in many ways, the G-Cloud is still in its infancy.

“Sadly it remains a reality of business life that SMEs still face the challenge that many procurers still believe the technology giants to be a safe pair of hands.

“While there are many large businesses that do provide a good services, they can also be expensive, deliver overly complex solutions and deliver licensing agreements that lock the public sector into long-term commitments that are hard to get out of,” she added.

According to Stokes, G-Cloud success has been limited but the fact that nearly half of all sales via the framework go to SMEs is a hopeful sign for the future.