Gearing up for G-Cloud 9: advice for winning digital business in government

The UK government is one of the most digitally advanced in the world. It also has significant challenges: Brexit, the need to transform itself for the benefit of citizen and taxpayer alike, delivering better and more with significantly less.

Historically, government has not been seen as an easy market, either to break into, or to do business with. Government’s huge legacy ICT spend has been tied up with a handful of global suppliers, and any new opportunity tended to be within the supply chains of these suppliers.

G-Cloud changed all that, and has opened the door for SMEs and new market entrants alike to do business with government. Government benefits from technical innovation, commercial flexibility and significantly lower costs driven by a transparent, but highly competitive marketplace. The UK benefits because G-Cloud has already been proven to create jobs in the UK and fuel growth.

When G-Cloud 9 opens for business on 7th March, government can expect thousands of applications, from suppliers that are familiar with G-Cloud, from those familiar with government, and from those who have never done business with government before.

Its relatively straightforward to gain a place on the G-Cloud framework. It is less straightforward to win business. The G-Cloud market is highly competitive, and successful suppliers tend to have product and services that meet government’s needs, and are fit for purpose.

Advice on G-Cloud 9 from UKCloud – a leading G-Cloud IaaS provider

From online tax returns with HMRC, complex data analytics at Genomics England and integrated vehicle and driver records at the DVLA, G-Cloud has been the foundation for many of the government’s most successful digital transformation projects. They have all been delivered via G-Cloud, by UKCloud.

We have provided services to the UK public sector through G-Cloud from the outset, so we have significant experience of the framework itself, but more importantly, the UK public sector’s cloud computing needs. Although UKCloud has a direct presence on G-Cloud in the IaaS lot, we also work with partners to provide an assured, secure platform for their innovation. We enable our partners to differentiate themselves from their competition.

As G-Cloud 9 approaches, we wanted to offer some advice based on our experience:

Our Advice: Partner with a public cloud provider and focus on the added value that you can provide on top of their infrastructure.

Our Advice: Specialisation has worked well for us and we recommend that you take the same approach.

Our Advice: Find a provider that has the highest possible level of accreditation and certification, with substantial experience in helping its partners comply with government’s cloud security principles. This will accelerate your speed to market.

Our Advice: We are committed to open standards and from the day we started business we committed to being easy to adopt, easy to use and easy to leave. This has worked well for us and we’d advocate the same approach.

Our Advice: Protect your clients by billing in sterling and by partnering with firms that do so also.

With less than 10% of central government workloads in the cloud and an even lower ratio elsewhere in public sector, there is still a great deal of growth to be expected for suppliers to the UK public sector. Government’s challenges will drive this growth, and the Government Transformation Strategy is clear on the size of the opportunity. The next wave of workloads moving to the cloud will do so via G-Cloud 9.

This blog first appeared on Diginomica