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The UK government hopes the Digital Marketplace will make it easier for the public sector to buy digital services

The UK government hopes the Digital Marketplace will make it easier for the public sector to buy digital services

The UK government’s Digital Marketplace, which replaces the Cloud Store for buying cloud services in the public sector, is now in beta and fully accessible.

The launch concludes months of preparation at Government Digital Services (GDS), the division of the Cabinet Office tasked with managing the G-cloud framework and the Cloud Store.

The Digital Marketplace is designed to simplify buying digital services among a number of procurement frameworks, however only services being procured through G-Cloud seem to be listed at the moment.

“We know that the range of frameworks and stores can be confusing,” said Francis Maude, Minister of the Cabinet Office. “That’s why the new Digital Marketplace, which makes it clearer, simpler and faster for the whole of the public sector to buy digital products and services when it needs to, is a vast improvement for both supplier and customer.”

“This will ultimately lead to the delivery of better services for the general public, and means that we can continue to work with a range of quality suppliers of all sizes,” he added.

Executive director of GDS Mike Bracken said the platform offers more flexibility for users and will inevitably bolster the ability of more service providers, particularly SMEs, to penetrate the public sector.

“Modern services need to be continually iterated and improved to meet users’ needs. And we need a platform that allows us to flexibly commission what we need to deliver those services, drive down cost and drive up value,” Bracken said.

“The Digital Marketplace demonstrates that we can build a service that meets these needs and allows government to work with a wide range of innovative suppliers of all sizes,” he added.

Total sales through the Cloud Store reached £314m pounds at the end of last month, growing £26.5m over the previous month. Central government departments are still the biggest spenders according to most recent data, shelling out £21m, with the rest of the spending coming from the wider public sector, local authorities and not for profits.

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