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Sketching out the Strategy

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Digital Marketplace

Digital commercial service design & delivery

As we develop the Digital Marketplace, I want to outline our current thinking for the Digital Commercial Programme Strategy.

A part of our wider programme

The vision is this: to bring about lasting change in the way that government and wider public sector thinks about, and buys, digital and technology.

The Digital Marketplace, while important, is one among other fundamentally important things for realising the vision for the Digital Commercial Programme. Each part is dependent on one another; if just one part fails to meet our users’ needs, then the whole user experience is potentially affected. The programme needs to be designed and delivered as a service.

The focus of our strategy

As with all digital services, there are a number of principles to follow. The Digital Commercial Programme Strategy will focus primarily on two things:

  • user needs
  • service design and delivery (that meets our users’ needs)

User needs

Our users are at the heart of what we do. These are the tens of thousands of buying organisations throughout government and wider public sector, and the thousands of suppliers we’re aiming to attract.

Engage, educate, equip

To understand our users’ needs we of course need to know and talk with them. At the same time educate them about the new principles and approaches that will underpin the lasting change we want to achieve.

In doing so we will equip them with the right mindsets, behaviours, tools, and a set of principles, guidance, practical methods and templates supported by real illustrative examples, in readiness for buying and selling.

Service design and delivery

We’re then able to design and deliver a service that meets our users’ needs, and supports the transformation we’re aiming for. We’ll achieve this through the following four broad, and interrelated, workstreams:

Routes to market

This includes framework agreements such as G-Cloud and Digital Services, but there are several others. All must enable buyers to contract with the right suppliers, to give them the things they need to do the things they need to do.

We’re developing a set of principles and an approval standard to ensure that all new commissioning frameworks for digital and technology are designed right.


The Digital Marketplace will become the single platform for buying and selling digital and technology, but there are a number of other tactical tools that we’re looking to develop that help towards our aim of making the buying and selling process simpler, clearer, and faster.


Departments are looking for guidance on how to implement new approaches to governing agile service delivery, which we see including the design, commissioning (where suppliers’ services are needed), build and delivery of those services, end to end.

This is about the right level of governance to enable effective service delivery.


Throughout the buying process we’ll provide our users with a level of support as appropriate, as required, as their capability increases.

“For them, with them” as they increase their understanding, and then “by them” when they’ve become self-sufficient.

Publishing our strategy

We’re aiming to share a first draft of this strategy (our alpha) before the end of June with a small group of our users (buyers and suppliers), to gain their feedback to ensure that it’s designed to meet their needs.

We’ll then iterate it and aim to release it again two months later to a wider group of users for further feedback, and publish the final strategy by the end of September.

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  1. Comment by David Dinsdale posted on

    One area that I haven't seen covered yet is opening up the data in the marketplace.

    It would be great for small developers such as us (we develop GovSpend.Org.UK) to be able to easily integrate the data from the marketplace into other offerings which can provide solutions for user needs that you do not cover.

    Will you outline your open data plans within the strategy that you are drafting and is there a way to contribute?

  2. Comment by Steve turner posted on

    If you are ISO 12967 compliant and have a service architecture for health informatics do you still need to be IGSOC compliant to get on the Gcloud.

    • Replies to Steve turner>

      Comment by Gemma Phelan posted on

      Hi Steve, we're aware you're now in contact with our customer support who are dealing with your query.