The UK Government G-Cloud is an initiative targeted at easing procurement by public-sector bodies in departments of the United Kingdom Government of commodity information technology services that use cloud computing. The G-Cloud consists of:
- A series of framework agreements with suppliers, from which public sector organisations can buy services without needing to run a full tender or competition procurement process
- An online store – the "Digital Marketplace" (previously "CloudStore") that allows public sector bodies to search for services that are covered by the G-Cloud frameworks
The Digital Marketplace is a publicly accessible, searchable database of services offered under G-Cloud. The first service was offered in February 2012
The Digital Marketplace procurement processes handle selection and procurement of services.
Services offered on the Digital Marketplace can be accredited by the Communications-Electronics Security Group (CESG) Pan Government Accreditation Service as appropriate for use across government for data up to a specified Business Impact Level.
Suppliers define the service that they are offering as part of the framework agreement, and those details will be made available in the Digital Marketplace. These details include such things as Business Impact Level (e.g. IL2) that the service is accredited for, and how users will be on-boarded and off-boarded. In particular it is the requirement to enable users to leave the service (off-board) if they wish to move to a different provider of the same service.
Services are classified into:
- Infrastructure as a service (IaaS) – provisioning of fundamental computing services (processing, storage etc.) for the user to run arbitrary software
- Platform as a service (PaaS) – provisioning of platform services to enable a user to deploy user-built or acquired applications
- Software as a service (SaaS) – provisioning of the provider's application as a cloud service
- SCS – Specialist Cloud Services – typically consultancy in the cloud domain