Cabinet Office takes wraps off G-Cloud ii

News 26 Oct, 2012

G-Cloud ii breaks cover, but concerns remain for SMBs

The Cabinet Office has launched G-Cloud ii, an expansion of its G-Cloud service, which debuted earlier this year.

The upgraded service means the government CloudStore now has over 3,000 services on offer from 485 suppliers: double the amount that was available on G-Cloud i.

New categories include accessibility tools, gamification and end-user device services. Contract terms have also been extended.

Alastair Mitchell, chief excutive of cloud collaboration firm and long time Government supplier Huddle, welcomed the new developments.

It will change the way software is bought and sold and delivered.

“[The changes demonstrate] that this is the real deal, it is not just a small contract, side project-type arrangement. [The change in contract terms] makes G-Cloud more stable [and] it has upped the bar in terms of what you have to deliver, which...means Government can buy in confidence... ” Mitchell told IT Pro.

“It will change the way software is bought and sold and delivered. It shows that cloud is so mainstream now that there is no doubt all services in the future will be delivered in the cloud,” he added.

However, Mitchell sounded a note of caution over the addition of big names like Salesforce to a list of cloud heavyweights already in the framework, claiming it could mean SMBs are squeezed out of contracts – a concern also raised by cloud provider Attenda earlier this year.

“Part of the point of [G-Cloud] was to drive innovation [and] make channels to market easier for the smaller guys. They are still on there, which is great, but they might be a little bit more crowded out by the bigger guys now,” he said.

However, Kate Craig-Wood, managing director of infrastructure-as-a-service provider Memset, dismissed this prospect.

“As a small company, you are threatened by the big players, but there is still plenty of scope for the smaller British operator to innovate and find a good niche," she told IT Pro.

"When I have been in briefings with the Prime Minister and the Chancellor, they do really seem to be behind the idea of giving 25 per cent of government business by value to SMBs.

“I think for G-Cloud to really work, we do need the whole breadth of the spectrum,” she added.