Frameworks: bringing change to the whole sector
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The G-Cloud framework is proving a successful way to bring small businesses into the public sector but as evidenced by the slow growth outside of central government and the overuse of Lot 4, professional services, is not fulfilling its potential or delivering on its intent to increase use of commodity cloud services. The current government strategy appears to be to publicise the framework to other parts of the public sector rather than to perform research to understand needs.
There seems to be little recognition that the local government sector has a stronger track record of working with small businesses than central government, or that their needs may differ.
For both buyers and suppliers the large number of procurement frameworks is an issue. A buyer could buy the same service through multiple frameworks, or in some cases outside of any framework. A supplier can sell to the same buyer through multiple frameworks.
This overlap creates the situation where buyers and suppliers might assist each other to find the most advantageous framework for a particular engagement. This suits larger suppliers who are more likely to have gone to the expense of supporting multiple frameworks.
The volume of frameworks creates a cost on both buyer and supplier-side. Each framework costs money to setup and to enter. For small suppliers it can increase the barriers to enter the market. How are they to know which frameworks are likely to be effective for their offerings? How are they to know which frameworks their target buyers are actually using?
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