Work on G-Cloud III to start 'around Christmas time'
Review of government frameworks expected to be complete by end of November
Work on the third iteration of G-Cloud will start "around Christmas time", according to senior G-Cloud programme officials.
Speaking at an Intellect event, a senior official said that the government has changed how it manages risk, and warned that bespoke solutions have not always delivered. They said that certain projects have been "bespoked to death" and that this has not led to good outcomes, with an oligopoly of suppliers dominating government IT services. While some products and services need modification, many can just be bought as a commodity to fit business and user needs, they added.
The potential terms and conditions for G-Cloud III have been published on the G-Cloud blog , so stakeholders can read them and provide feedback.
G-Cloud III cannot be launched until the ongoing Government Procurement Service (GPS)-led review of ICT framework agreements has finished. At the end of last month, the Cabinet Office announced that planned GPS ICT procurements would be paused pending the outcome of an internal review to ensure they are achieving the best results for buyers and suppliers.
However, according to an official working on the G-Cloud programme, the frameworks review is expected to be complete by the end of November, in just over a week's time, meaning that G-Cloud III would be free to go ahead as planned.
Another G-Cloud representative said that there were currently 462 suppliers offering 3,185 services, although he said that efforts are underway to improve the website.
In particular, with a view to G-Cloud III, suppliers will be encouraged to personalise their section of the website, which serves as a sort of 'store within a store'. They drew a comparison to shop windows, saying that it makes sense to make the descriptions of your G-Cloud offerings as appealing as possible.
They also said that the team are focusing on trying to make progress on the website's search capability, after 80% of respondents to a survey said that they would like to see it improve. By G-Cloud III, more comprehensive search options should be in place, according to the official.