GDS considers shake up of G-Cloud 9 lot structure
Cabinet Office announces plans to prioritise discovery phase to look at how the procurement framework can evolve beyond the upcoming launch of its eighth iteration
The Government Digital Service (GDS) is considering significant reforms to G-Cloud 9 that could potentially include revising the current four lot structure of the framework, as well as ending overlap between different iterations of the agreement.
In a series of blog posts outlining intended changes to the Digital Marketplace platform, the government has announced a 'discovery phase' for G-Cloud 9. G-Cloud was first launched in 2012 as a means to procure commodity cloud services in the public sector.
With the application process for G-Cloud 8 set to open on May 17, bidders will have until June 21 to express interest in the agreement. The framework is then expected to go live in August.
The government said that with efforts currently focused on developing the Digital Outcomes and Specialists (DOS) agreement that is scheduled to go live this month, it had opted against introducing significant changes to G-Cloud 8 beyond work to shorten the length of legal documentation for users.
Priority has instead been given to reviewing how G-Cloud 9 can best serve procurement and whether the four existing service categories it offers meet government needs.
The discovery phase will consider a number of factors such as:
- Potential user benefits from removing overlapping framework iterations, both G-Cloud 6 and G-Cloud 7 are currently available in the Digital Marketplace
- Requirements for developing an end-to-end purchase to payment transaction for the Digital Marketplace
- The possibility of removing terms and conditions that don't meet user needs
- Simplifying transitioning of legacy IT contracts to cloud services
In addition, the Specialist Cloud Services (SCS) category of G-Cloud will face further reviews around how effectively it meets the needs of users.
"Speaking to buyers and suppliers will also help us work out if, and how, the user need has changed," said GDS in a statement.
G-Cloud 7, which had been scheduled to end in November 2016, is expected to be extended in order to allow applicants to express interest in being included on the ninth iteration of the framework.
Based on the latest available official figures, total spend through the framework reached £1.05bn by the end of February with the overall rate of sales growth appearing to have declined over the last three months.
Questions have been raised over the sustainability of sales growth through the framework, used to acquire cloud commodity services for public sector bodies, without an influx of new customers.