G-Cloud 13: UK government 'inhibiting' cloud SMEs' ability to adapt to harsher business landscape

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Suppliers on the UK government’s G-Cloud 13 framework have blasted the decision to extend the scheme for an additional year, claiming the move will render some contracts “commercially unviable”. 

A survey of suppliers by Advice Cloud on the services portal change found that many are unhappy with the decision, with nearly two-thirds (69%) revealing they have been negatively affected by the move. 

The services portal, which updates on a yearly basis, was granted an extension by the Crown Commercial Service (CCS) in June that will see its continuation until November 2024. 

According to CCS statistics, around 90% of suppliers present on the G-Cloud 13 framework, of which there are more than 5,000, are SMEs. In addition, 72% of these are identified as ‘micro and small’ organizations. 

A key criticism of this decision is that, under the rules of the framework, suppliers won’t be able to update or amend services for an additional year. 

This means that, while G-Cloud 13 remains live, suppliers are unable to add new solutions to the portal or make changes to existing solutions already in place, such as price increases or the inclusion of new features. 

As a result, suppliers said they could face serious financial repercussions because they’re unable to update prices to reflect current economic conditions, such as inflation. 


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“Most respondents are concerned that an extension, considering today’s level of inflation, is 'unrealistic' and will affect their ability to transact via the framework,” the report states. 

More than half (51%) of suppliers told Advice Cloud that they need to update pricing due to inflation, and 77% of those were SMEs. This restrictive aspect of the move means that “some contracts will become commercially unviable”, respondents said. 

Similarly, others noted that some services will need to be completely removed from the framework, with 49% revealing that they need to add new services to meet changing customer expectations. 

Given the high proportion of SME suppliers present on G-Cloud 13, the potential financial fallout could be costly. Many respondents referenced the “disproportionate impact” on smaller businesses and a “conflicting stance” from the government on supporting SMEs. 

G-Cloud market refreshes ‘too infrequent’ 

Suppliers voiced concerns that a two-year refresh frequency of the framework, which G-Cloud 13 has now become, is “too infrequent”, and the majority (41.5%) stated that they’d prefer a new iteration on an annual basis. 

However, among those who preferred a two-year refresh rate, Advice Cloud found that many requested the ability to “make some changes to services, pricing, and T&Cs” to reflect changing market conditions. 

Previous iterations of the framework have run on a yearly basis, with G-Cloud 13 launched in 2022 and set to refresh in November this year. 

Ross Kelly
News and Analysis Editor

Ross Kelly is ITPro's News & Analysis Editor, responsible for leading the brand's news output and in-depth reporting on the latest stories from across the business technology landscape. Ross was previously a Staff Writer, during which time he developed a keen interest in cyber security, business leadership, and emerging technologies.

He graduated from Edinburgh Napier University in 2016 with a BA (Hons) in Journalism, and joined ITPro in 2022 after four years working in technology conference research.

For news pitches, you can contact Ross at ross.kelly@futurenet.com, or on Twitter and LinkedIn.