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Businesses beware of G-Cloud rogue traders

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Back in 2012, the government set up the G-Cloud Framework to ease the strain of IT procurement for public sector organisations and within the first year more than £18.2 million was spent using the framework.

However, the success of G-Cloud has now come into question. Certain reports suggest it is failing to make the procurement process easier and has resulted in a decline in investment. However, figures show more than £1.5 billion was spent on cloud services by public sector organisations in the last quarter of 2016.

Look a bit closer at G-Cloud and you’ll see the complaints about its effectiveness rarely come from the public sector. After all, these departments now have an efficient shop window for all their cloud computing needs, whereas previously procurement could be a long and cumbersome affair. Instead, it is the providers who are struggling to see the benefit of the framework due to the vast competitive nature of the service. Last year, only a third of G-Cloud providers won business and the problem is only intensifying as more companies enter the fray.

Many businesses are turning to consultancy firms for support and advice on how to get listed on G-Cloud, using increased new business and revenue streams as the carrot to entice them to enter agreements. However, once contracts expire businesses are being left to adapt to the new marketplace without any type of support or guidance.

The concern is that many consultancy firms seem to be acting like nothing more than rogue traders, misleading clients into investing in G-Cloud without fully preparing them for life in the new marketplace and the subtle nuisances which can make all the difference within such a competitive framework. Currently, these firms are making a quick buck and leaving SMEs to fend for themselves and it simply isn’t fair and will only be detrimental to the sector in the long term.

G-Cloud was launched to simplify the technology procurement process for public sector departments and level the playing field for SMEs which previously couldn’t compete with the market’s big name players. However, the opposite seems to have happened – small businesses are now not only failing to generate new business in the public sector, they are also making a loss by investing in consultancy firms which leave them zero return on their investment.

Small businesses should be the driving force behind economic growth so to see consultancy firms taking advantage of their urge to increase revenue on G-Cloud is reprehensible. The time has come for consultants to become the transparent business advisers they market themselves as and begin adding value to British businesses, rather than taking money from their back pockets before leaving them to fend for themselves.

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