Tag Archives: SME

SMEs and Agile to play key role as Government launches ICT plan to deliver £1.4bn of savings

By David Bicknell

Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude has launched a plan to implement the Government’s ICT strategy which it says will deliver around £1.4bn of savings within the next 4 years and help deliver better public services digitally. 

In its foreword to the Strategic Implementation Plan, the Government says it is committed to reducing waste and delivering modern public services at lower cost:

We have already saved hundreds of millions of pounds in 2010/11 by stopping or reducing spend on ‘low value’ ICT projects. These quick wins demonstrate what can be achieved by taking a whole of government approach and challenging the way we operate and provide services.

The Government ICT Strategy, published in March 2011, described our longer term programmes of reform to improve Government ICT and deliver greater savings. This Strategic Implementation Plan provides a reference for central government and is designed to be read alongside the Government ICT Strategy.

“Our plans are focused on standardising government ICT. In the past, government departments worked to their own requirements and often procured expensive bespoke ICT systems and solutions to meet them. As a result, departments have been tied in to inflexible and costly ICT solutions which together have created a fragmented ICT estate that impedes the efficiencies created by sharing and re-use. It also prevents government from offering joined-up, modern, digitally-based public services that are suited to local requirements.

“Affordability in the current ‘age of austerity’ requires a different approach. The approach set out in this plan ensures that departments will now work in a collegiate way, underpinned by rigorous controls and mandates.

“This is not just a plan to reduce the cost and inefficiency of departmental ICT.  Effective implementation of the Strategy has already begun in programmes that will radically reform front line public services. For example, the Universal Credit programme is one of the first ‘Digital by Default’ services, using an Agile approach to reduce delivery risk and improve business outcomes. 

“Success or failure of government ICT depends on greater business preparedness, competency in change management and effective process re-engineering. That is why, although we focus on the common infrastructure as a way of significantly reducing costs, the ICT Strategy (and this plan) recognises the need for a change in our approach to ICT implementation. In particular, implementation will be driven through the centre, as a series of smaller, local ICT elements, rather than ‘big bang’ programmes that often fail to deliver the value required.”

Significantly, the government says it will continue to reduce waste by engaging SMEs:

“Building on the £300 million already saved (from May 2010 – March 2011) by applying greater scrutiny to ICT expenditure, government will continue to reduce waste by making it easier for departments to share and re-use solutions through the creation of an ICT Asset and Services Knowledgebase, applications store, using more open source, and improving the ICT capability of the workforce. At the same time, it will reduce the risk of project failure and stimulate economic growth by adopting agile programme and project management methods and reforming procurement approaches to make it easier for SMEs to bid for contracts. 

“For all relevant software procurements across government, open source solutions will be considered fairly against proprietary solutions based on value for money (VFM) and total cost of ownership. Success will be measured initially by a survey of each department’s compliance with the existing open source policy. Longer term, open source usage will be measured annually by the use of a departmental maturity model. The ICT Asset and Services Knowledgebase will be used to record the reuse of existing open source solutions, and the deployment of new open source solutions.”

Specfically on procurement, the Government says it has the potential to leverage its huge buying power in the ICT marketplace. But it admits that government procurement of ICT “has in some cases failed to deliver economies of scale and failed to deliver value for money to the taxpayer.”

The government says its objective is to “reform government procurement through the centralisation of common goods and services spend by funding improvements in technology, processes and government wide procurement resources to better manage total procurement spend and government wide standards, such as those for green ICT.”

“Government is therefore committed to become a single and effective ICT customer, leveraging buying power whilst remaining flexible on how it procures. As part of this process government will create a more open, transparent and competitive ICT marketplace embracing open standards and open source that will remove barriers to SME participation in public sector procurement to create a fairer and more competitive marketplace.

Government Procurement has a number of strategic goals, including to:

  • create an integrated Government Procurement (GP) to deliver and manage the Operating Model for Centralised Procurement for all common goods and services including ICT, delivering cost reductions in excess of 25% from the 2009/10 baseline of £13bn;
  • transform Government Procurement Service (GPS) to be leaner, more efficient and to become the engine room of government procurement, delivering savings through sourcing, category, data and customer management across all categories of common spend including ICT;
  • formalise agreements between GPS and all departments to deliver centralised procurement and to improve capability, including within the ICT spend category;
  • deliver policy and capability improvements covering EU procurement regulations; transparency in procurement and contracting; removing barriers to SMEs; and
  • mandate open standards and a level playing field for open source; streamline the procurement process using ‘lean’ plus supporting programme to develop the capability of civil servants who lead government procurements.

The government says its key procurement metrics will be

  • Total spend under management on ICT common goods and services
  • Savings on ICT common goods and services
  • Number of ICT contracts with a lifetime value greater than £100m
  • Time to deliver ICT procurements
  • Number of active ICT procurements

On Agile, the government says many large government ICT projects have been slow to implement and technology requirements have not always been considered early on in the policy making process, resulting in an increased risk of project failure. Agile project methods, it argues, can improve the capability to deliver successful projects, allowing projects to respond to changing business requirements and releasing benefits earlier.

Its Agile objective is to improve the way in which the central government delivers business change by introducing Agile project management and delivery techniques.

By 2014, it says, Agile will reduce the average departmental ICT enabled change delivery timescales by 20%.

In delivering this, the government says it will be measured by:

  • Number of departments who have used the online Agile facility
  • Number of projects using “agile” techniques, by department
  • Total number of instances where the virtual centre of excellence has been utilised

ICT Strategy Strategic Implementation Plan

Mutuals regain recognition as form of business ownership

By David Bicknell

The rebirth and acceptance of mutuals as a form of business ownership has been recognised in an article by Charles Batchelor in the Financial Times published yesterday.

In a piece headlined “Different kinds of company ownership are gaining in popularity” as part of a special report ‘The Future of the Company’, Batchelor listed mutuals alongside family businesses, publicly quoted joint-stock companies and sole traders and partnerships as forms of ownership.  

On mutuals, Batchelor said this:

“Mutuals, represented mainly by building societies in the UK, were a popular form of ownership in previous years, although their numbers have shrunk dramatically as many societies have demutualised in recent decades. One mutual that is thriving, however, is John Lewis, the owner of the John Lewis chain of department stores as well as Waitrose, the upmarket grocery store. The employee-owned company has been extremely successful in weathering the retail downturn that has affected the rest of the UK high street, and in the process has shown that mutuals do, perhaps, have a place in the future.”

Admittedly for those already in or in the process of creating mutuals and social enterprises, it may not mean much, but it is perhaps a sign of the times to see the prospective growing role of mutuals specifically recognised by the FT in this way.

Delivering the agility to bring the corporate network to life

By David Bicknell 

A recent blog  asked whether businesses need the IT department when it comes to purchasing cloud services for business units. After all, the piece suggested, the Internet is all about eliminating the middleman from the transaction. https://www.infosecisland.com/blogview/15280-Informal-Cloud-Buyers-A-Growing-IT-Problem.html

The same argument could apply to non–Cloud apps where SMEs are increasingly providing turn-on-a-sixpence like agility to deliver apps and end-to-end solutions to business units, by-passing internally-focused IT departments that look cautious, defensive and too eager to pull up their ‘it’s not strategic’ comfort blanket.

In fact, ‘informal buyers’ make five times as many software buying decisions as the IT people who are supposed to be in charge, according to Forrester. According to a Q4 2010 Forrester survey, 69 percent of 3,000 business managers reserved part of their operations budgets to buy tech services directly, rather than through IT.

Faced with IT’s frequent intransigence in embracing new innovative solutions provided by SMEs, and citing their need to move quickly and with agility, business units are insisting that they want end-to-end solutions that truly understand business problems and solve them, meeting immediate business needs today, not in six months’ time once IT has a done another strategic review.

Buyers want to take advantage of the rich innovation offered by specialist SMEs who probably understand the business’s needs – and what’s more, relate to it – far better than the internal IT department, which too often understands technology, but not often enough, its own business.

Those specialist SMEs include Mvine, which gives business people all the tools they need to work in partnership across corporate boundaries, productively and securely. Indeed, Mvine is  finding that increasingly the business is not looking for IT-driven point solutions with a technology-led tag, such as collaboration, but a flexible, end-to-end platform that understands and speaks the business’s language, while delivering on the business’s multiple requirements, from document management to business intelligence. This approach facilitates effective communication and collaboration with customers and enables closer engagement with both partners and employees, outside the corporate silos, but still inside a secure, trusting environment. In the insurance world Exvine is attracting interest amongst business executives who quickly grasp the flexible, end-to-end capabilities of the platform and are impressed by the speed of deployment, usually only 4-6 weeks from concept to full production system. The rapid implementation, thanks to Cloud delivery, and flexible design features are proving to offer a refreshing alternative to traditional IT delivery approaches, which have often been slow and costly. 

Mvine’s latest innovation, 6.0, available to both Mvine and Exvine customers, provides a number of feature enhancements including compatibility with new technology such as tablets, improved search capabilities, data exports to Outlook, the creation of sales reports, security switches, multi-chapter video enablement, improved image quality and digital assets and event functionality.

What Mvine is now offering is a vision for the future of social business, creating a rich data store on companies and people, complete with email, videoconferencing, telephony and links to social media such as LinkedIn and Twitter that weaves a tapestry of relevant corporate communications including recent events, conversations, video, company updates and pictures: an interactive database of information and communication to replace the static spreadsheet. Mvine enables employees to get to know each other better, without exposing the organisation to the risks of social networks. It’s local , not social networking.

And because business intelligence is now so important to companies, customers can create reports of what their users are doing with the site in real-time. Information created, detailing data such as age, gender, frequency to the site, downloads, location, job function, can then be used to produce reports and help target marketing campaigns and generate sales leads, providing a bespoke service to customers and intelligent approach to understanding your user base.

The Mvine platform also has the capability to pull in and harness a wealth of data from physical appliances and fixtures, such as light fittings and plug sockets, entering this information ‘from the Internet of things’ into the platform’s BI tool for a widening list of uses, from environmental purposes through to practical maintenance enquiries. Such pure data, duly tuned or distilled so that extraneous ‘noise’ is filtered out, is the currency that enables organisations to make better business decisions.

Why is all this so important? Because in future instead of pockets of knowledge, companies will have one central nervous system that unifies every piece of corporate information and fundamentally changes how companies do business, unlocking the vast amount of information generated by everyday operations and making it instantly available. These ‘Activity Streams’, as Gartner calls them,  humanise every business process inside a company, adding a social layer to data and opening up real-time collaboration.

Why this SME’s innovative ideas may help Nick Clegg understand the real causes of the riots

Could a new approach detect the early warning signs of radicalism in a way that ordinary research, surveys and intelligence gathering couldn’t? Or spot when programmes to reduce re-offending aren’t working?

In this guest blog, Andrew Moore, chief operating officer at DAV Management, whose customers include large public and private sector organisations, explains why government research into complex situations, such as the causes of the recent riots or making offender management more effective, requires a different approach that goes beyond supporting preconceived hypotheses to give new insights and fresh perspectives, and crucially, offers a means of detecting the early signals of situations that are developing in communities which can either be encouraged for the wider good or damped down before they can pose a threat.

Improving the Citizen Experience

An innovative approach to surveys and research

There is a currently a great deal of interest within government circles to determine how best to engage with its various stakeholders in different, more effective (and understandably less expensive) ways.

There’s the Big Society, the attempt to establish ‘happiness’ as a measure of the nation’s wellbeing (rather than just good old GDP), the need to engage citizens in a more direct and effective manner, with services designed around them rather than the structure of government.  In addition there are specific events that trigger the Government’s need to interact with sections of the population, such as the recent announcement by Nick Clegg that he wants to engage with communities affected by the summer riots in England, in order to understand who did what and why.  Then there are the government’s internal stakeholders – its employees, with whom it is seeking an altogether more symbiotic relationship – devolving power to the people on the front line who frequently know how to run services in a more effective and efficient manner.

Mutualisation’ and ‘Third Sector’ are terms that I suspect everyone is likely to become more familiar with over the next few years, even if now they may require some defining.  The long running debate about the future of the NHS is a very good case in point. And there’s the stated desire to get SMEs delivering innovation as part of effective government procurement.  As an interesting adjunct to this, let’s not forget that employees are also citizens, creating a fascinating cross-over of interlinked perspectives.

Of course there are other groups who may be thought of as stakeholders and these will have a very specific perspective on the delivery of public services.  I’m thinking here of offenders – those serving their debt to society and for whom the government is seeking ways to improve rehabilitation, reduce re-offending and become much more effective at identifying those most susceptible to radicalisation, extremism or self-harm. This of course has been brought into sharper focus by discussions over the severity of post-riot sentencing.

All in all, this represents a hefty agenda of public services reform and one which will test the government’s strategic planning and policy implementation ability to the max.  With such degrees of change being considered, it is encouraging to hear that government is embarking upon a listening exercise to garner the views of citizens, employees and service users, as some recipients of public services are now known.  Understanding what people want in order to deliver services they will use is a laudable objective, but what a task this must represent.  How on earth do you make this achievable?  Consider for a moment the potential population sample.  What constituency would you choose?  How do you get people to participate with sensible and meaningful responses?

Even if you can get all this feedback, how do you make sense of it?  How would you store, manage and interpret the sheer volume of data, relating to so many different aspects of life and stakeholder groups?  How could you be sure it doesn’t end up as an exercise designed to prove (or disprove) preconceived positions?  How would you spot the things that you don’t recognise – the identification of a strong belief system (that could make or break any changes in the way public services are delivered); the early signs of a rise in community ‘temperature’ that could lead to the kind of civil disorder witnessed in cities across England during August this year; or the indicators that some offenders are significantly more willing (and likely) to rehabilitate under certain conditions?  I could go on but I don’t want to labour the point.

It’s clear that in an exercise that will fundamentally change how most people interact with both central and local government, it makes sense to give those people a voice.  But this has to be in a controlled and manageable way, so that it is quick and easy to understand what that voice is telling you; gaining truly unique insights and fresh perspectives from which actionable decisions can be made and monitored that make a real difference to people’s lives, be they citizens, employees or service users – or, in some circumstances, perhaps a combination of all three!

Making people part of the process in this way is also an effective way of getting buy-in.  People are more likely to feel engaged, even if it’s by proxy (i.e. evidence of meaningful consultation establishes a degree of credibility) and by its very nature, changes the basis of the relationship between government and those stakeholders with whom it is seeking to engage.


So what’s the point in all this, why are these things being suggested as anything new?  After all, the idea of planning, shaping and delivering services against a well-defined need is surely common sense and is recognised as such by most people.  Well, as they say, the problem with common sense is that it’s not that common.  The truth is that the kind of knowledge and insight that is likely to be required by government in order to shape and deliver its vision for public services, is difficult (if not impossible) to gain from traditional methods and technology. A different approach is required.

What if you were able to poll large samples of the population on a variety of different topics and have the findings presented to you quickly and simply, in a way that wasn’t mediated by ‘experts’ and allowed you to interact directly with the data – at both a quantitative and qualitative level?  What if you were able to see things that you hadn’t expected; things that blew away commonly held perceptions about citizens or employees – giving you a clear and substantiated view of how people are feeling, what they really think of particular programmes and initiatives and how they are responding to specific policies and interventions?  Imagine being able to detect early opportunities to take action on a particular initiative that enabled you to maximise the benefits downstream or damp down a threat before it was even recognised as such.

It all sounds too good to be true, but advances in cognitive based solutions, using micro-narratives (snippets, stories, reports and other qualitative data) captured from samples of your target ‘audience’ and self-indexed by them to provide meaning from which incisive action can be taken, are turning these scenarios into reality.

The problem for strategists and policy and decision makers is that the environment in which they are operating is hugely complex; there are many small causes that interact and interweave to produce an end result, but no one cause is dominant.  The whole environment is continually adapting and changing and you can’t measure it at a point in time – it’s constantly evolving.  This is what’s known as a ‘complex adaptive system’.  It’s the kind of environment where outcomes are difficult to predict.  It’s highly sensitive to small changes, meaning emerges through interaction and, with the benefit of hindsight, you might be able to see where, when and why things have happened and how you could have dealt with a particular situation, but at the time it was erratic and novel.  Sadly, hindsight does not lead to foresight and processes to prevent a similar situation occurring next time will fail, because the next time things will happen differently.  The August riots in England were a perfect example of this scenario, where multiple small, erratic events interacted and evolved to produce a disproportionate, unpredictable and, in this case, catastrophic outcome, which the government is still trying to understand the cause of.

Complex situations frequently occur when you are dealing with people because they are inherently unpredictable and often driven by emotion.  The bad news for government is that, one way or another, people are at the heart of all of the major change initiatives and civil events that are currently under the policy spotlight.  You begin to get a sense for the scale of the challenge.  Not an overnight thing this.  [By the way, if you’re having difficulty getting to grips with the concept of a complex adaptive system think of mayonnaise.  If you’ve ever tried to make this from scratch you’ll know how uncertain it feels as the ingredients combine and the mayo gradually emerges.  One slip and it will curdle, the end result is never the same and it can’t be reverse engineered].

Fortunately, when trying to get to grips with a complex situation, a cognitive approach again comes to our rescue.  It enables us to probe the situation, sense what’s happening where and why and then respond accordingly.  It’s liberating for policy makers as it opens the door for innovation, enabling organisations to try things and see what works best in particular situations.  Fast feedback loops promote a low-risk, ‘safe-to-fail’ environment where those ideas that aren’t working are quickly identified and turned off, enabling us to get behind those that are delivering tangible results.  In this way, new services and new ways of working can evolve, meaning that the end result has a much higher chance of widespread adoption and, hence, long-term success.

The really good news for government is that game changing solutions of this type are really in the sweet spot when it comes to getting ‘more for less’, as today’s economy demands.  The levels of investment required are a fraction of the amounts that have typically been associated with major government change initiatives.  They are also much simpler to implement and run.  Once set up, data capture, analysis and reporting can be built into an organisation’s day to day operational processes, supporting (and stimulating) how it interacts with the citizens or service users it serves, or the employees it depends upon for the delivery of those services.  For example, making it part of how Offender Managers (previously known as Probation Officers) interact with offenders to try and reduce re-offending would be an excellent way to capture how the latter group is responding, say, to changing institutional attitudes and behaviours, revealing to what extent infantilisation (i.e. treating offenders in a condescending manner, as if still children) is being reduced.


A recent case in Canada illustrates how the solution can be implemented to improve the delivery of healthcare services.  In this instance, the authorities in British Columbia initiated a programme to help them understand the perspectives of all parties implicated in the unfortunate death of an elderly patient.  This had resulted from a breakdown in communication and subsequent decision making following the patient’s admittance to hospital suffering from congestive heart failure. Not unusually in these circumstances the single, sentinel event of the patient’s death was seen from very different perspectives by the various groups involved.  By adopting a cognitive based approach the authority was able to bring together front line and management staff to make sense of these conflicting perspectives and, as a result of the unique ‘safe-to-fail’ experimentation techniques supported by the approach, it was able to trial and subsequently implement changes in both policy and service delivery that will not only help to prevent similar incidents occurring in the future but also raised the quality of healthcare provided to patients more generally.

Just think how powerful such an approach would be for Nick Clegg in his quest to understand the complex human behaviours and emotions that came together to fuel the aforementioned riots in England.  And to have this at your disposal not only as a platform from which to take decisive action now but also to generate alerts when the ‘community temperature’ again begins to rise, must surely present a huge opportunity that any civil authority worth its salt would want to take advantage of. Instead it would appear that research initiatives are being launched by those with an interest in understanding and curing society’s ills that, albeit well-meaning and based on credible empirical evidence, may still ultimately turn out to be incomplete.  My concern would be that if a traditional research approach is adopted to try and make sense of what is essentially a complex situation (as I have defined above) then such initiatives risk revealing only those things that are readily recognisable and, having been mediated by ‘experts’, support preconceived hypotheses.  They are likely to  miss the opportunity to discern unexpected findings arising directly from the contribution of the people affected by (and involved in) the riots and fail to detect the early signals of situations that are developing in those communities, which can either be encouraged for the wider good or damped down before they can cause further unrest.  Addressing these issues by adopting a cognitive based approach will provide a much more effective feed into future policy decisions and social interventions.

If you’re new to the concept of cognitive based solutions it can be a bit of a challenge to get to grips with how they work and just what they give you, but once you’ve experienced the power of the knowledge and understanding that they deliver, you start to see applications everywhere you look.  The big advantage is that it’s easy to get started with low-cost, low-risk pilots that can start to make a difference to any organisation in a very short space of time.

To learn more, visit http://davmanagement.com/default.asp?id=833&ver=1

Contact Andrew Moore at andrew.moore@davmanagement.com

Or call +44 (0)1189 974 0100

Mutuals and SMEs under spotlight as government responds to EC procurement green paper

By David Bicknell

A post on Public Service Europe has argued that the govenment needs to explain its positioning on some key public procurement issues, notably in relation to mutuals and SMEs.

The post, written by a UK lawyer, argues that the government’s proposals sound ‘refreshingly promising’ but may reflect some  contradictions in wider policy.

It suggests that “the penny seems to have dropped in government that procurement policy is central to getting the economy moving again and not simply the esoteric occupation of a small number of professionals. The government has now published a Procurement Policy Note (05/11) setting out how it intends to engage with the commission on the reform of the rules. The note states that the rules as they currently stand are too complex, onerous and costly and encourage a risk-averse and over-bureaucratic approach to procurement within the EU.”

It adds that, “The note confirms that the government will be actively influencing the commission, other EU member states and the European Parliament in the run up to the publication of the commission’s proposals for revised and updated directives, and calls on those in the public procurement community who may have links to such bodies or other stakeholders to participate in that process and push the UK message. Whether the government will be successful; only time will tell. In the meantime it could let us know where it stands on the above issues.”

Government Summit Discusses Opportunities for SMEs

By David Bicknell

One of the areas within the remit of the planned Director of ICT Futures within government will be changing the terrain for SMEs to enter the government marketplace. It’s useful then that this aspiration is the subject of a government summit taking place today.

The SME Strategic Supplier Summit, organised by the Cabinet Office, was hosted by Francis Maude and involved the Project and Programme Support Group. A number of SME suppliers were invited to attend the event, which was due to discuss making real the opportunities for SMEs to compete for government business.

An announcement of the new opportunities has been made on the Cabinet Office website.

Backing the G-Cloud

By David Bicknell and Tony Collins

Rarely has a single date had such importance in the history of government computing. That date was 20th October, the announcement of the Spending Review, which gives an ineluctable justification for the G-Cloud, a UK onshore government cloud infrastructure that enables public bodies to select and host ICT services from a secure, resilient and cost-effective shared environment.At this month’s Socitm conference, the G-Cloud deputy director Andy Tait explained what G-Cloud is, how it is likely to work, and what effect it will have on the existing IT landscape within government.

Tait suggested that the government will not cancel long-term IT contracts in order to introduce G-Cloud. Instead senior officials will wait for a “natural break” in contracts before replacing them with “G-Cloud capable services”.

The government has already disclosed that it is planning to scrap or scale back more than 400 IT projects, in a bid to meet its targets on public spending cuts. The government spends £17bn a year on ICT and, says Tait, some public-sector organisations have saved up to 65 percent on some projects by using the Cloud.

What’s particularly interesting about the G-Cloud, which will be a pillar of the new government IT strategy, is the intention of the Cabinet Office to include smaller companies in its plans, a move that we at the Campaign4Change wholeheartedly welcome.

Those at the Cabinet Office aim to give 25 percent of government IT business to small and medium enterprises. That is a ‘possibility’ now rather than ‘probability’ –  actions speak louder than words. That too is a welcome objective th0ugh. And the plan to use open-source solutions wherever possible should also be encouraged, despite legal restrictions which mean that the government cannot specify open-source requirements in a tender document. All contracts over a specified value will be published online and IT projects will be much more modular, with a possible maximum value of £100m for any single contract.

The G-Cloud Application Store, Tait told Socitm, is a bid to create an Amazon-like IT marketplace where anything will be available. It will have a “certified” zone, and an “open” zone where innovation will be encouraged.  Suppliers will be able to present demo applications or ‘put up Power Point presentations’ about an idea for a solution. In future government will also have a central IT authority to help it manage central components.

Of course, there will be challenges in ensuring G-Cloud is not simply blue-sky thinking. And one of those challenges is procurement.

Tait and his G-Cloud colleagues are trying to work out how they can legally do a procurement once, but with one lead organisation. G-Cloud wants the first person to procure a product to procure it on behalf of the Crown and then, once procured and the competition completed, that application or service can be made available to anybody else within the public sector, without their having to repeat the procurement.

Ultimately, officials at the Cabinet Office want to use the G-Cloud to aggregate the buying power of the entire public sector, plus the third (voluntary, not-for-profit) sector, in the hope of cutting 30% off the governments £17bn IT budget.

We at Campaign4Change see that the G-Cloud strategy, if all goes to plan, will offer a new role for small and medium-sized companies in government procurement.

Let’s hope the G-Cloud approach is as successful as another major event this month, the almost miraculous rescue of the Chilean miners. It would probably be too much to expect such a miracle quite yet from G-Cloud. But we’ll be doing what we can to support the strategy.