As a result of the pandemic, two vital digital transformation trends, automation and cloud-based services became a priority tool for organisations that had to operate remotely. Even more, these trends have evolved into essential solutions for many industries that deem a full return to the office highly unlikely and need an efficient way of working.
This combination of factors and circumstances exacerbated the need for organisations to find digital solutions both quickly and effortlessly. The G-Cloud Framework is a perfect example of a service that aims to bridge the gap between public sector organisations and suppliers.
In this blog, we will explore:
- What is the G-Cloud Framework?
- The transition from G-Cloud 11 to G-Cloud 12
- How to use the G-Cloud 12 Framework
- The new features of the G-Could 12 Framework
- The benefits of the G-Cloud 12 Framework
What is the G-Cloud Framework?
In short, the G-Cloud Framework is an agreement between the UK Government and suppliers that streamlines buying procedures and allows public sector organisations to easily procure services.
Rather than spending valuable time managing multiple contracts, public sector organisations can use the G-Cloud Framework to efficiently find and acquire reliable services from vetted suppliers. The G-Cloud Framework acts as a database for over 5,200 suppliers, including Datagraphic, and gives organisations access to over 38,000 cloud-based services.
This allows thousands of public sector organisations to save time and money when procuring common goods and services. Not only does the G-Cloud Framework simplify buying processes but it’s also free to use, provides reviews of suppliers, and directly awards contracts without the need to go through a lengthy tendering process.
The Digital Marketplace can be thought of as a Government digital service and platform that categorises and lists all the different services suppliers have to offer. It’s simple to use and you don’t need to register.
The G-Cloud Digital Marketplace provides cloud-based services to public-sector organisations. In this database, you can find providers that offer cloud hosting, software and support services.
Crown Commercial Service
The Digital Marketplace is managed by the Crown Commercial Service (CSS). The function of the CSS is to promote and improve the commercial and procurement endeavours of the UK Government.
In order to operate as part of the G-Cloud Digital Marketplace, all suppliers must comply with EU and UK procurement regulations. Being recognised as a Crown Commercial Service supplier allows customers to safely acquire commonly used goods and services knowing that all EU procurement directives are met.
How do you use the G-Cloud 12 Framework?
The G-Cloud 12 Framework is straightforward and easy to use. There’s no need for registration, simply head over to the Digital Marketplace and select “Find cloud hosting, software and support”.
Once you’re in the right place, it’s advised that you write down a list of requirements to help narrow down your search and check whether you need budget approval for a new service.
You can then begin your search for a service by searching on keywords or terms, or by choosing from categories such as cloud hosting, cloud software, cloud support, or simply browsing through all services. Filters, such as supplier type and user support, can also help you refine your search.
Once you’ve found your top suppliers, export a list of the services you’ve found. Use the service descriptions and contact details to assess your options and award a contract to the G-Cloud supplier of your choice.
What is new with the G-Cloud 12 Framework?
In a similar fashion to digital technologies, the G-Cloud platform is always looking to improve itself.
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
AI has become a prominent feature in the shift towards digital transformation. Therefore, the G-Cloud 12 Framework has included new standards for AI, including a clause that ensures suppliers and buyers use AI ethically, fairly, and securely.
More open to hardware
Unlike the G-Cloud 11, suppliers in the G-Cloud 12 Framework are allowed to offer hardware as an additional service. However, hardware can only be provided if it is specifically designed and integrated as part of the G-Cloud service.
In a bid to increase transparency and streamline the procedures of finding a supplier, the G-Cloud 12 Framework has made service definitions mandatory. Having a detailed and knowledgeable understanding of each supplier’s services makes it easier for public sector organisations to create a shortlist of contenders and, ultimately, award contracts.
This has become much clearer for suppliers and monthly information reports are an essential part of the framework. Refusing to comply with the updated and stricter process could result in suppliers being suspended, fined, or terminated from the marketplace.
The benefits of using the G-Cloud 12 Framework
The G-Cloud service is beneficial for all parties involved, as it fosters business and strengthens the development of digital transformation and automation.
Benefits to public sector organisations
- Cloud-first approach – helps public sector organisations embrace a cloud-first approach and the inevitable digital transition
- Transparency – supplier prices, offering and terms are honest and fair
- Secure – contracts and the procurement process receive the Government seal of safety against security risks
- Accredited – suppliers are vetted and accredited for security, performance and service management by the CSS
- Accessible – the framework is easy and effortless to use with plenty of clear instructions and there’s no need to register or pay any joining fees
- Choice – you’ll have access to a wide range of suppliers that you may have never come across
- No tendering – Without lengthy and competitive tendering, awarding and receiving contracts is more straightforward, reducing negotiation and price fluctuation
- Saves time and money – you can quickly filter suppliers based on requirements, easily compare reputable services and purchase services based on your usage
Benefits to service providers
- Fairer marketplace – a lack of tendering creates a fairer marketplace as smaller companies who cannot afford to lower their prices aren’t forced to bargain
- Helps to smaller suppliers – the Government has pledged to dedicate its resources towards promoting SMEs, which is exactly what the G-Cloud Framework does
- Gets products in front of the public sector – this saves suppliers from having to find customers and frees up valuable time that is better spent elsewhere
Public sector organisations benefit from acquiring a service that is transparent, accessible, secure, and accredited. They can use it to adopt a cloud-first approach that saves time and money, without having to endure the competitive tendering process.
Suppliers enjoy a fairer marketplace, increased exposure, and an acceleration towards digital transformation.
All in all, it’s a win-win situation. The Government, suppliers and public sector organisations are all working together to create a more efficient and effective buying process. And to give public sector organisations access to the latest technology and innovation, helping them achieve a cloud-first approach to technology.
If you would like to learn how to save time and money finding and buying cloud technology solutions through Datagraphic, visit our G-Cloud supplier page or contact us for more information.