G-Cloud by the numbers

The UK government’s G-Cloud procurement framework launched in April this year. The civil service recently updated the sales figures for the framework online, allowing us to see which departments have spent the most through G-Cloud from April to November, and which suppliers have made the most money.

Here are the top ten buying departments:

Department Total spend
DWP £651,860
NHS Connecting for Health £510,352
Ministry of Justice £304,175
Cabinet Office £234,691
Student Loans Company Limited £217,229
DEFRA £207,567
University of Hertfordshire £177,020
British Council £131,900
CMU Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust £85,000
BIS £80,146


The Department of Work and Pensions takes the top spot, thanks mainly to its combined £638,635 spend with Emergn. The US-based company offers training and consultancy around Agile software development, including online teaching materials. It is not a cloud provider in the conventional sense.

The second biggest spender to date has been NHS Connecting for Health (yes, it still exists), thanks entirely to its £510,351 engagement with another Agile software development agency, BJSS. Based in the UK, BJSS provides business analysis, project management, software development and testing services. Again, not really cloud.

Here are the top ten suppliers on the framework:

Supplier Total sales
Emergn Ltd £801,853
BJSS £701,939
Huddle £504,179
Squiz UK ltd £201,970
Microsoft Ireland Operations Ltd £153,195
Foden Grealy Ltd £147,600
Ixis £131,900
Quo Imus Ltd £130,994
Symantec Ltd £125,249
Learning Pool £113,000

The aforementioned engagements place Emergn and BJSS at the top of the supplier charts as well. Huddle, the Silicon Roundabout-based document collaboration supplier (and bona fide cloud company) comes in at third by value, but it had the greatest number of engagements so far. Its biggest contract to date has been with the Ministry of Justice.

It’s early days, but looking at the numbers clarifies a significant point about G-Cloud. Despite the name, the framework is not really about cloud computing per se; rather, it is about procuring IT systems and services through an online marketplace. Indeed, when it was first mooted, G-Cloud was referred to as an ‘app store’ for government.

This is not really a problem, as long as everyone knows what they are getting in to. One possible source of confusion down the line may be the software and development services framework that the government tendered back in June.

That framework, potentially worth up to £1 billion, covered everything from big data analytics and ERP systems to geographical information systems and IT security. The government has since put all its future IT procurement frameworks on hold, so it may not see the light of day. But if it does, could there be a danger of framework sprawl?


Pete Swabey

Pete Swabey

Pete was Editor of Information Age and head of technology research for Vitesse Media plc from 2005 to 2013, before moving on to be Senior Editor and then Editorial Director at The Economist Intelligence...

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