We’re changing the name of the redesigned Digital Services framework (DSf) to Digital Outcomes and Specialists. We’ve made this decision for the following reasons.
A new approach
Back in February 2015, Tony Singleton spoke about the online and offline negativity towards the first iteration of the Digital Services framework (DS1) in his post Addressing the Digital Services framework. At that point we knew there was a great deal that needed to be done to improve the Digital Services framework, and we’ve been working towards this ever since. The new framework is not merely a third iteration of Digital Services 1 and 2, it’s an entirely new approach - a redesign. Renaming it Digital Outcomes and Specialists reflects that.
Better for buyers
User research and feedback from our recent regional events tells us that a significant number of public sector buyers find framework names confusing. We want to move away from using frameworks as brand names. The frameworks should sit behind and inform the Digital Marketplace service rather than being an integral part of it.
Buyers will simply need to know there’s a single place, the Digital Marketplace, that they can go to to buy what they need.
Better for suppliers
That said, we realise it’s important for suppliers to know which framework they need to apply to based on the services they want to offer to government. The name should therefore relate to what the supplier can sell through the framework. In the case of the Digital Services framework, the name was based on what was being built, ie. ‘digital services’ and not what was being supplied, ie. ‘a digital outcome or digital specialist’.
Suppliers said that the Digital Services framework was too focused on ‘body shopping’. Supplier feedback said that they wanted more opportunities to supply entire digital outcomes, not just the opportunity to supply individuals to fill the gaps in government teams. The framework is now focussed on supplying these digital outcomes and the new name reflects that.
The current Digital Services framework
Digital Services 2 or 'DS2' will remain the same until the new framework, Digital Outcomes and Specialists (DOS), replaces it. As with the Digital Services framework, Digital Outcomes and Specialists will be available for both central government and the wider public sector to use when it goes live in the Digital Marketplace in early 2016.