UK Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude has announced the opening of the government’s digital marketplace created to offer public sector IT buyers with a wide choice of suppliers for buying IT commodities and services from one single ‘super market’ rather than having to go to separate digital stores for specialist products.
The new digital marketplace replaces the current Cloudstore, and will see the Digital Services and G-Cloud frameworks merging together into one when it launches in 2015.
The marketplace launch coincides with the opening of G-Cloud 6, the latest version of the G-Cloud framework.
Explaining about the new marketplace, Maude said, it has been built using a user-centric design approach to allow for continuous improvement based on user feedback.
“As part of our long-term plan, this government has been levelling the playing field and opening up digital procurement to the widest range of suppliers, including SMEs,” Maude said.
“We know that the range of frameworks and stores can be confusing. 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,” he added.
According to Mike Bracken, executive director of GDS, the new digital marketplace is part of the government’s drive to develop a new way of buying IT that will offer public sector access to the best technology and digital services available.
“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.