How to use G-Cloud

Numiko is pleased to announce that we have been awarded a place on the Crown Commercial Services (CCS) G-Cloud 6 framework.

What does this mean?

Good question. It means that public sector organisations can search for and procure digital services through something called the Digital Marketplace.We’ve all been through lengthy procurement processes, and as we’ve written about before, traditional tendering processes don’t naturally facilitate the procurement of digital projects. No more painful tender processes. No more arguments with procurement about how difficult is it to purchase digital services.

What’s the Digital Marketplace?

It’s a service provided by gov.uk that uses 2 frameworks to let you search for suppliers of digital services:

  1. Cloud services (eg web hosting or IT health checks) are on the G-Cloud framework.
  2. Specialists who can work on digital projects (eg technical architects and user researchers) are on the Digital Services framework.

Basically, moving to ‘the cloud’ denotes a move away from buying hardware that depreciates and towards shared resources that provide economies of scale. The use of cloud-based services is mandatory in central government and recommended to all public sector organisations. Cloud computing avoids massive upfront infrastructure costs.

What are cloud services, and what is G-Cloud?

G-Cloud is the supplier framework managed centrally by government through which public sector organisations can purchase these cloud services such as hosting, software development, site analytics etc…

If you need a new website, then you can find a supplier through G-Cloud!

What’s the benefit?

All Digital Marketplace suppliers have successfully been through the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) process. That means you can save on the time and cost traditionally associated with entering into individual procurement contracts.

What is G-Cloud?

G-Cloud is for the purchase of commodity-based IT services only (not hardware). The types of services that can procured easily using the Digital marketplace include:

  • User research
  • Front-end and interaction design
  • Software engineering and ongoing support

CCS is all about delivering value and quality. G-Cloud is one of a number of frameworks designed to centrally manage the procurement of common goods and services. By doing this through a commercial function at the heart of government centrally managed by CCS to save the taxpayer money and deliver value.

Who can use it?

All public sector organisations (including Higher Education). There’s a full list of those eligible to use CCS’s procurement arrangements.Central government departments and organisations across the public sector including local government, health, education, not-for-profit and devolved administrations can access the digital marketplace. This includes Universities, museums, charities, national councils and societies and many, many more.

How does it work?

Customers can use Digital Marketplace to find and compare services using keywords. These can be ‘must haves’ (e.g. content management system, open source) and ‘wants’. You can use these keywords to refine your shortlist, evaluate the suppliers available and award/ buy services directly. If only one supplier meets your requirements, you can award the contract to them without doing anything else.

If multiple suppliers met your requirements, you can select one on the basis of lowest cost, or contact suppliers for clarification before making a final decision. Contract awards can last up to 24 months.

My legal and/or procurement team are unsure...

A good starting point for familiarising yourself with G-Cloud is the buyers guide. You can then log on with a public sector email address and search for suppliers on the Cloud technology and support page. Find out more on their blog.