Public Sector Focus


Six years on: Taking stock of G-Cloud 11

Rafael Cortes, head of marketing at Foehn, reviews the success of G-Cloud and what the most recent iteration offers the future.

Even the best of relationships can go through a ‘six-year patch’. Not so at Foehn. To the contrary, I’m pleased to say that our six-year relationship with G-Cloud is stronger than ever, with no signs of a fall-out, let alone separation.

The latest iteration, G-Cloud 11, marks our sixth year as a listed supplier on the government’s procurement framework and it still presents us with the most important channel for reaching central government and local authority bodies with our cloud communication solutions.

With the experience gained from this long-standing G-Cloud connection, it seems appropriate to take stock and offer a quick snapshot of where it’s been and where it’s going.


We find that G-Cloud continues to provide the primary route for procurement of cloud services on the digital marketplace. Each year enhancements to the platform and its processes add efficiencies, attracting new suppliers and helping customers across a wider range of public sector bodies.

READ MORE: Cloud communications: making the case for investment in cost-saving technology

Last year, the framework was streamlined to help cut administration for both supplier and customer. The result appears to have attracted a substantial number of newcomers to G-Cloud 11. The figures are impressive:

  • 30,000 services are supplied by the 4,200 listed companies - up 20%.
  • 90% of suppliers are SMEs with a cumulative spend of £2 billion since G-Cloud’s launch in 2012.
  • Total G-Cloud spend to date is now approaching £5 billion.

Much of this growth has been built on the trust built between the customer and the G-Cloud process. For example, suppliers are required to submit a new application every year. G-Cloud approval is not just a simple copy and paste each year. Past records are deleted, and a repeat application is required annually. That way, standards are controlled, and public sector customers are reassured that supplier data is always up to date.


Sifting through an extensive list of tweaks reveals that perhaps the most significant changes to

G-Cloud this year involve security and the need for suppliers to meet more stringent requirements for protection against cyber-attacks and viruses. This includes implementation of the newest versions of security technology and software as well as provision of warranties for anti-virus and anti-malware technology, rather than merely an ‘all-reasonable-endeavours’ approach.

READ MORE: Foehn achieves UK Government G-Cloud 10 Certification

READ MORE: G-Cloud 9: Choosing the right supplier for your cloud communications

Other changes call for greater transparency of supplier records and account information, allowing access by government departments such as the Auditor General, the Cabinet Office and the Treasury.

The latest iteration of G-Cloud also strengthens demands on suppliers for policies concerning Corporate Social Responsibility, equality in the workplace and regulations applying to employee rights in supply chain companies.


There are plans for individual frameworks for cloud hosting and cloud services next year to include possible five-year terms, where non-confidential data is concerned, to avoid the admin involved in procurement every two years.

Other plans concern development of another procurement framework specifically for machine learning, artificial intelligence, analytics, robotics, and automation technologies.  These plans follow-on from publication of an AI Guide, designed to be used across government to help departments implement AI in a “safe and ethical way”.

READ MORE: Your G-Cloud experience is as good as the vendor you use

The Government has also launched a new, embryonic online platform called Spark. This will focus on eight technology areas that include IoT, AI, data, wearables and simulated environments. To date the platform has been limited to only a small number of suppliers and plans are at an early stage.

Meanwhile, plans for a global digital marketplace, in progress since G-Cloud 10, remains on the agenda for the Government Digital Service.

The demand for simplicity

If there’s one benefit of G-Cloud that stands out from all the others, it’s simplicity.

The pressures on public sector for budgetary restraint, regulatory compliance, impartiality and a host of other requirements makes procurement complex, time consuming and prone to poor decision-making. G-Cloud sets out to make life simpler and, with improvements to the framework over recent iterations, has met that challenge. Feedback from our customers bears testament to the advantages. 

For example, Greg Jones, customer services transformation project manager at Ceredigion County Council, summarises the process of acquiring our cloud contact centre solution.

“With a basic specification we were able to use the government’s G-Cloud service to identify a provider with the best fit for our requirements, including cost. Importantly, G-Cloud made a big difference in reducing the timescale one would normally anticipate for acquiring technology of this type.”

READ MORE: How can cost-conscious organisations benefit from an imaginative provider?

Similarly, Adrian Beaumont, IT manager for the Local Government Ombudsman, highlights the time-saving delivered by G-Cloud in assessing our cloud phone system: “We were keen to use the G-Cloud framework to procure the services, which meant that we wouldn’t have to go through a very lengthy, drawn-out process.  On G-Cloud there were pre-qualified suppliers we could be confident were capable of delivering what we needed at a competitive price.”

Simplicity is an issue close to our development philosophy. We make phone and contact centre systems simple to adopt, easier to use and uncomplicated to manage. G-Cloud removes complexity and extends our approach into the procurement process. So long as G-Cloud continues to deliver this important advantage, we will be its biggest fan.

If you’re considering moving to a new cloud phone or contact centre system, a good starting place is our ‘Public Sector Buyers’ Guide’. It will help you address your G-Cloud search and hopefully lead you to the best solution for your services and your budget.

Take a look here.


There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment


public sector executive tv

more videos >

latest public sector news

Kirklees Council makes £250m Blueprint part of planning policy

27/05/2020Kirklees Council makes £250m Blueprint part of planning policy

Kirklees Council’s Cabinet gave the green light yesterday (May 26) for the £250m Huddersfield Blueprint to be part of planning policy... more >
Moving Forward Together: Bristol council housing set for transformation

27/05/2020Moving Forward Together: Bristol council housing set for transformation

Bristol Council has announced that a new project, with the potential to transform the lives of people living in council homes, will be discussed ... more >
Route announced for £1bn Highways England transformation

26/05/2020Route announced for £1bn Highways England transformation

Information has been announced (May 23) on the £1bn Infrastructure programme that will see the A66 upgraded as part of the Northern Trans-P... more >

editor's comment

25/10/2017Take a moment to celebrate

Devolution, restructuring and widespread service reform: from a journalist’s perspective, it’s never been a more exciting time to report on the public sector. That’s why I could not be more thrilled to be taking over the reins at PSE at this key juncture. There could not be a feature that more perfectly encapsulates this... read more >

last word

Prevention: Investing for the future

Prevention: Investing for the future

Rob Whiteman, CEO at the Chartered Institute of Public Finance (CIPFA), discusses the benefits of long-term preventative investment. Rising demand, reducing resource – this has been th... more > more last word articles >

the raven's daily blog

What came first, the bad customer or the bad customer service?

17/03/2020What came first, the bad customer or the bad customer service?

Source: PSE Feb/March 20 Stephen Bahooshy, Senior Commissioning Manager and Nicky Selwyn, Carer and Service User Group Chair, Croydon Council.   Here it is, that age old question: What came first, the bad customer or the bad customer service? (Or maybe we just made that up, whatever). But it’s true though, right? We w... more >
read more blog posts from 'the raven' >


Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

21/06/2019Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

Taking time to say thank you is one of the hidden pillars of a society. Being on the receiving end of some “thanks” can make communit... more >
How community-led initiatives can help save the housing shortage

19/06/2019How community-led initiatives can help save the housing shortage

Tom Chance, director at the National Community Land Trust Network, argues that community-led initiatives are a productive way of helping to solve... more >
Aberdeen's green transport fleet attracting international attention

19/06/2019Aberdeen's green transport fleet attracting international attention

Aberdeen City Council’s hydrogen spokesperson, councillor Philip Bell, highlights the Granite City’s determination to play a leading ... more >
A fifth of public sector workers have never received a thank you from the people they serve

13/06/2019A fifth of public sector workers have never received a thank you from the people they serve

A fifth of the country’s public sector workers say they have NEVER received a ‘thank you’ for doing their job as Public Service... more >


Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

17/12/2018Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

It’s no secret that the public sector and its service providers need to invest in technology to help make better use of their resources. Bu... more >
Digital innovation in the public sector: The future is now

17/12/2018Digital innovation in the public sector: The future is now

One of the public sector’s key technology partners has recently welcomed a new member to its team. Matt Spencer, O2’s head of public ... more >
New Dorset Councils CEO on the creation of a new unitary: ‘This is going to be the right decision for Dorset’

05/11/2018New Dorset Councils CEO on the creation of a new unitary: ‘This is going to be the right decision for Dorset’

The new chief executive of one of the new unitary authorities in Dorset has outlined his approach to culture and work with employees, arguing tha... more >
Keeping the momentum of the Northern Powerhouse

15/10/2018Keeping the momentum of the Northern Powerhouse

On 6 September, the biggest decision-makers of the north joined forces to celebrate and debate how to drive innovation and improvement through th... more >