Director of the government’s G-Cloud programme, Denise McDonagh, has hit back at claims that July’s sale figures hit a slump, claiming that over £1 million spent through Cloudstore indicates a shift away from traditional suppliers towards SMEs.
Suppliers that were awarded G-Cloud framework accreditation are obliged to provide details of any sales they complete through the framework, which the Government Procurement Service receives monthly.
It was revealed last week that spending in July was just £98,182, compared to £459,730 in June, and £555,187 in April.
Computerworld UK highlighted that G-Cloud suppliers are likely to be hoping that the slump is due to the holiday season, rather than government turning its back on cloud procurements.
However, in a blog post entitled ‘A Rebuttal’, McDonagh said that whilst some have been supportive and recognise that 75 percent of spend through the framework has been with SMEs, this was not the case for everyone. She even said that some had been “less accurate in their use of the [G-Cloud] data”.
McDonagh said: “Some people who don’t really understand the landscape we’re working in may well look at that figure and assume that has had very little impact on the estimated sixteen billion pounds a year that government spends on IT.”
This simply highlights that what they don’t understand is the relationship between £1 spent with a G-Cloud supplier, and £1 spent with one of the 20 corporations responsible for delivering 90 percent of government IT at present.”
She added: “That is why the fact that after only four months of completed data we can clearly see the shift away from the traditional suppliers to the SME’s is such a good thing.”
The blog post also highlighted that any suggestion that there has been a drop in interest in supplying to the G-Cloud is ‘just plain wrong’, as there have been 407 expressions of interest from new suppliers into G-Cloud ii, in addition to the 257 suppliers that signed up to the original framework.
The government launched the G-Cloud ii framework in May of this year, with the hope that it will add to the 1,700 services currently available on G-Cloud i. G-Cloud ii will run for 12 months and is set to be worth an estimated £100 million.
McDonagh added: “As I have always said, this is only the beginning of the journey, our approach to propagation will help and guide us all on our way but we’d appreciate it if people weren’t trying to trip us up just as we’re getting into our stride.”
The G-Cloud team were dealt a blow late last month when the online catalogue for the public sector to purchase the framework’s cloud services, Cloudstore, suffered some technical problems, which left users unable to search for suppliers and products.
A Cabinet Office spokesperson said at the time: “The G-Cloud is currently experiencing a system error which is temporarily preventing suppliers and buyers from accessing cloud services.
“We are liaising with Procserve, the platform providers, who are working to resolve the problem and restore normal services as quickly as possible.”