After G-Cloud 10 launch was brought forward, procurement agency confirms agile development framework will follow suit
Crown Commercial Service has confirmed that it will launch the third iteration of its Digital Outcomes and Specialists framework this summer.
Digital Outcomes and Specialists 2, a procurement vehicle for public-sector customers to acquire development and support services for software and digital projects, reached the end of its initial year-long term in January 2018. Late last year, it was one of several of CCS’s Digital Future portfolio of IT frameworks to be given a 12-month extension.
But the procurement for the third version of the framework has now been brought forward, with bidding due to open in July, ahead of a planned go-live date in September. The decision to expedite the process comes two weeks after CCS announced that it would be launching the next iteration of the G-Cloud vehicle significantly earlier than previously expected. Bids for G-Cloud 10 will now be invited next month, with a contract due to kick off in June.
At the time, sources indicated that the launch of Digital Outcomes and Specialists 3 was also set to be brought forward to this summer – a move now confirmed by CCS.
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Niall Quinn, director, technology strategic category for CCS, said: “We have listened to feedback from suppliers and customers and decided to go ahead with re-letting Digital Outcomes and Specialists in line with our original timescales. This will give customers access to the very latest services, and ensures that current suppliers and new bidders, including smaller businesses, have the chance to work with the public sector.”
The existing version of the Digital Outcomes and Specialists deal features 2,018 suppliers. Since the launch of the first iteration two years ago, some £280m of spending has been conducted through the framework.
The decision to extend the second version – as well as the extensions given to G-Cloud 9 and Cyber Security Services 2 – came as CCS and the Government Digital Service pledged to spend more time developing its marketplace platforms. Such development work had always been hampered by the need to frequently retender core IT agreements, CCS said.
“More time is now needed to transform the platform and make it scalable and more flexible, enabling more framework services and improved customer and supplier functionality based on what user needs have identified,” it said in November.
The Crown Marketplace – an online store offering the public sector a comprehensive range of goods and services – is currently being developed, and has been slated to launch in 2019. CCS has previously indicated that it will likely supersede the Digital Marketplace for IT and cloud services.