Well, looks like G-Cloud fans can breathe a sigh of relief – as the government says it’s taking the latest rev of The Digital Marketplace off ‘pause’.
Specifically, CCS (the Crown Commercial Service) has confirmed G10, the latest version of the commercial framework that had been put on hold, will now be live from June – and will be open for supplier applications from next month.
A new Digital Outcomes and Specialist (DOS) framework is expected to follow soon after, while we await news of what, if anything, will change between the current G9 and G10s versions of the platform, which the government says could eventually be worth £600m in deals.
“I’m pleased to confirm that we will re-let the G-Cloud framework, which provides opportunities to many small businesses in the digital sector,” said Oliver Dowden, Minister for Implementation.
“This will provide innovative online solutions to government, supporting the delivery of efficient, effective public services. Small businesses are the backbone of our economy, so it’s crucial that we listen to them when shaping policy, as we have done today.”
We reported last year that the mechanism had been paused as the Service looked to improve the service – a move that some reports suggested could effectively put it on ice for 12 months.
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That would have meant a year-long break in the cycle of G-Clouds, which critics said would negatively impact this way of sourcing IT for the public sector, and keep innovative products away from buyers for an unacceptable length of time.
But the work seems to have been completed earlier than CCS expected, meaning that those new products can be loaded – and even more UK tech SMEs get the chance to offer their solutions, as we continue to highlight in our popular The Digital Marketplace Contenders profiles.
The unexpectedly early re-start is being warmly by the G-Cloud community, especially by Advice Cloud, the Brighton-based consulting firm that helps on-board new Marketplace hopefuls.
“We’re very pleased to confirm that G-Cloud 10 will be opening again for applications in April,” its MD Chris Farthing wrote on the company blog yesterday.
“I think that this is a very positive step for both suppliers and buyers [as] two years between iterations just isn’t acceptable in cloud world – in fact 12 months is a push, so I very much welcome this move.”