I Love It When an Ecosystem Comes Together

At UKCloud, we’ve always been focussed on enabling the UK Public Sector with a vibrant partner ecosystem – it’s a deep part of our DNA, and our strategy, to be a ‘partner-led’ business that benefits all.

Since my last blog we’ve been working tirelessly to support our partners with their G-Cloud 11 submissions and I wanted to capture what I learnt throughout this process.

On G-Cloud itself, one of the major successes is the size of the market that it has enabled; giving cloud suppliers of all sizes and types access to a growing pre-tendered marketplace. There are now 4200 suppliers with more than 31000 services listed, whilst year-over-year spend continues to rise – with government figures showing that G-Cloud spend increased from £1.09bn in 2017/18 to £1.3bn in 2018/19.

As an analogy, G-Cloud has provided a commercial platform for innovative, new solutions to thrive – and we believe we’re the technological equivalent. Like G-Cloud, we are passionate about enabling solution and service innovation in our ecosystem to further aid the digital momentum in UK Public Sector.

However, what excites me most is our partner momentum. The number of submissions underpinned by UKCloud’s technology has more than doubled since G-Cloud 10! We are truly humbled that so many partners chose to leverage our platforms for their solutions and services.

There are 3 different categories within G-Cloud, with lot 2 dedicated to SaaS – the fastest growing area of cloud spending according to all the key analysts. I was lucky enough to host a panel of experts recently, including: Advice Cloud, MyLifeDigital and Geoff Smith Associates (GSA), where we discussed the opportunities and challenges for software builders switching to a SaaS-based operating model. As you’d expect we discussed details around the three main transformational pillars: commercial, technical and customer service innovation. And the prize is significant – there is clear market demand in UK Public Sector, and much more widely, to consume software as a service vs the old-style ‘EULA’ approach. We will continue to provide guidance and support for all software builders undergoing this important transition, however it was inspiring to see so many of our ISV partners successfully land their game changing solutions on G-Cloud 11, powered by UKCloud.

One of our panellists, Dave Blackburn from GSA, recently had 15 UKCloud-based solutions accepted onto G-Cloud and commented:

G-Cloud is an important channel to market for us as, when combined with additional frameworks, we can ensure strong visibility and simple procurement for our customers in law enforcement and the wider public sector. We were pleased again to work with UKCloud closely during the submission process and they remain a strategically important partner to our business.

In the other G-Cloud categories, we saw a significant increase in the cloud consultancy area, and as noted in a previous blog – this is a clear statement from the market and our partner base that ‘Digital transformation in UK Public Sector is at a very early stage and only the easy stuff has been done’.

From this point cloud migrations are anticipated to be much more complex than those in previous rounds – driving the need for strategy, expert thinking and planning. Hence a rise in consulting offers and services across the market. We are again proud to support our partners in delivering these important services to our joint customers in UK Public Sector. As part of G-Cloud 11, and as documented in our CTO’s blog, we are making things even easier for our partners by giving them the option to use UKCloud to augment their service offerings via our enhanced presence on the framework.

I’ve recently worked with my team to define a charter for our partners; a promise to the ecosystem that documents how we aspire to help them – and the wider UK Public Sector – to better serve UK citizens. And I was delighted to see many of the charter’s elements in action throughout G-Cloud 11 – although I must stress that we are only just getting started and remain ambitious together with our partners.

I love it when an ecosystem comes together!