G-Cloud sales have reached £154m as public sector departments buy on-demand services through the government’s online marketplace.
We reported in July last year the slow uptake that the Government’s G-Cloud initiative had received and the challenges that the Government Digital Service was facing to increase sales through the platform.
Following that report, however, sales through the G-Cloud have begun to gather momentum with sales at the end of March amounting to £154 million. This compares to a figure of £78 million in December 2013.
The G-Cloud is an extremely powerful tool for making cost savings for public sector organisations. In a recent blog post Deputy Director of Operations, Government Digital Services stated that:
“We’ve spent some time to identify savings of purchases made through G-Cloud...On average, we saw savings of around 50% and there are examples of savings of more than this. Other benefits buyers have spoken about include greater transparency; flexibility; a simpler, clearer, faster way to buy and ultimately better value for the taxpayer…”.
The potential for financial savings therefore make the success of the G-Cloud project an import objective in the Government’s overall procurement strategy. The news that sales are beginning to gather pace will be very welcome to the Government.
Part of the rationale for the G-Cloud platform is to facilitate competition by SMEs with larger organisations. The Government will therefore also draw encouragement from the fact that 60% of total sales by value and 60% by volume, from all reported G-Cloud sales to date were awarded to SMEs.
However, despite the good news is seems that there are still refinements that can be made to the platform. In a reply to a recent freedom of information request made by the technology news website V3, it was discovered that 80% of suppliers on the G-Cloud platform had not made any sales at all through it, with suppliers reporting that the G-Cloud is being used as a ”shop window” instead of a place to make transactions.
The G-Cloud cannot yet therefore be declared a success, but perhaps the momentum that is beginning to build means the project may well still realise its full potential.