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A recently published survey suggests G-Cloud is continuing to gain traction

A recently published survey suggests G-Cloud is continuing to gain traction

A broad survey of UK public servants published Tuesday suggests a majority are still unaware of the UK Government’s G-Cloud initiative despite a series of high-profile deployments and combined sales of close to £250m. But some cloud service vendors believe the survey results suggest GDS’s efforts to make the cloud procurement programme more visible are paying off.

According to the survey a majority (66 per cent) of UK civil servants have no knowledge of the UK Government’s G-Cloud initiative, and just 38 per cent of respondents had used G-Cloud to procure their cloud services.

The survey of 300 public servants, which was conducted by Six Degrees Group at Civil Service Live in July, has raised concerns over the public sector’s continued lack of G-Cloud awareness. The survey echoes the findings of a similar survey published by the firm last year – which suggested 76 per cent of local authorities had not heard of G-Cloud.

“The initiative has the power to transform radically how authorities interact with cloud providers. However, as the findings from both surveys have shown, the public sector remains unaware of the many benefits that using the G-Cloud framework can provide,” said Campbell Williams, group strategy and marketing director at Six Degrees Group.

“These statistics demonstrate that as we move towards the end of 2014, the government still needs to do a lot more to educate all public sector departments on G-Cloud,” he said.

Last month G-Cloud sales grew from £217m to just under £250m, with 54 per cent of total sales by value and 60 per cent by volume from all reported G-Cloud sales to date being awarded to SMEs. The wider public sector has spent 21 per cent of the total sales by value to date.

A Cabinet Office spokesperson told BCN G-Cloud has come a long way in a short time, and that GDS is trying to raise programme’s visibility.

“We’re continuing our work to increase awareness and understanding of the advantages of G-Cloud. Only then can organisations benefit,” the spokesperson said.

“For our part, we will continue improving G-Cloud and the Digital Marketplace to make it easier for suppliers and buyers to use,” he added.

A sign of success

Nicky Stewart, Skyscape’s commercial director disagreed with the contention that the survey results are cause for concern.

“On the contrary – I think that fact that 44 per cent of a broad swath of public servants, not just IT and procurement professionals, know about G-Cloud is quite an achievement,” Stewart told BCN.

In April G-Cloud head, chief operations officer and deputy director of operations for the Government Digital Service, Tony Singleton, said that the organisation would take a number of steps to educate buyers on, and increases awareness of, the G-Cloud programme.

Those efforts, Stewart explained, seemed to be paying dividends. In June for instance 80 per cent of total sales by value were through central government, and 20 per cent through the wider public sector; this is compared to 87 per cent and 13 per cent, respectively, the previous month.

“We’ve seen some fairly high profile, large scale cloud deployments outside of central government in recent months, despite the fact local government authorities have fairly localised agendas and are not subjected to the same ‘cloud-first’ policy that central government must abide by,” she explained.

“I challenge anyone to name a single government programme as specific as G-Cloud which has garnered as much visibility across such a broad group of public servants,” she added.

The UK government’s Digital Marketplace, which will include cloud services sold through the G-Cloud procurement framework as well as other digital services sold to government, is due to launch imminently according to GDS spokespeople.