Making it easier to buy services from the Digital Marketplace

The Digital Marketplace includes a G-Cloud catalogue for Hosting, Software and Support, plus Digital Outcomes and Specialist 2 Framework and Crown Hosting Data Centres

The Government Digital Service’s Digital Marketplace was originally set up in 2012 in order to provide an online platform that all public sector organisations could use to find and buy cloud-based services. Over the past years it has evolved to support other frameworks including Digital Outcomes and Specialist 2 and Crown Hosting Data Centres.

For Public Sector organisations and bodies with a need to review, maintain, update and implement IT and Infrastructure projects the Digital Marketplace provides a unique, accredited and single point of entry for front-line public sector IT buyers.

For their respective organisations it is a service that helps them design and develop transformational public services through the simple ability of being able to buy what they need from proven suppliers. Buyers can easily find technology or people to deliver digital projects.

Advantages of Digital Marketplace

The key advantages for public sector buyers using the frameworks include:

  • Save time on supplier identification
  • Save cost by entering into single source and selective procurement contracts
  • Ability to work with pre-accredited and approved suppliers
  • Ability to work with existing public sector suppliers

The Digital Marketplace currently includes around 20,000 cloud services (split between cloud hosting, cloud software and cloud support), around 1,000 specialist digital services (including research, and specialist personnel), and one supplier for data centre supplier for secure and flexible government hosting services.

Crown Hosting Services

The government’s ‘Cloud First’ policy, introduced in 2013, means public sector IT buyers need to consider a cloud solution before selecting datacentre hosting from the Crown Hosting Data Centres framework.

The Government Digital Service (‘GDS’) offer direction on which services need approval based upon whether:

  • The department is from Central or Local government
  • The service is focused upon digital or technology services
  • The cost is significant

For many public sector IT buyers spend approval from the Government Digital Service (GDS) is provided once the purchase is assessed in line with:

  • Needs of customers
  • Value for money
  • Government digital strategy
  • Public transparency
  • Agile development

Further details around buyer approvals can be found at: GDS Buyer Controls 

Digital Marketplace Frameworks and Buying Process

Each of the Digital Marketplace Frameworks has specific buyer guides to help IT buyers procure the services they need, but at the outset there is always a need to consider and assess:

  • The high level requirement
  • The estimated delivery time
  • The funds available
  • The technical IT requirements
  • The procurement requirements
  • The supplier selection criteria

In such situations working with IT technical experts can help to find a path through these elements.

As to be expected each buying process has certain specific differences. Buying cloud services is different from buying from the Digital Outcomes and Specialists framework, which is different to buying physical datacentre space.

However some elements will remain sensible throughout, namely:

  • Drafting a complete requirement specification
    • Take time to meet and discuss requirements with suppliers (in order to refine specifications)
  • Search for and assess suppliers
    • Base this upon mandatory and ‘nice-to-have’ elements
  • Draw up a shortlist, evaluate and assess

Specific buyer support links for each framework can be found below:

  • Digital Outcomes and Specialists framework for IT specialist services and personnel: DO&S Buyers Guide
  • Crown Hosting Data Centres framework for datacentre space: CH DC

The Digital Marketplace wants to encourage IT buyers to use the service and technology focused SMEs to provide a service (which incidentally by Jan 2017 had channelled £1,799,102,031 of public sector IT spend) so if you have any questions about the Digital Marketplace or the buying process, email: enquiries@digitalmarketplace.service.gov.uk.

For more information on any of Vysiion’s Digital Marketplace services or if you are interested in hearing more about what we can provide contact Caroline Andrewes on 01249 446500 or send an information email to cloudsales@vysiion.co.uk

 

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