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Digital Marketplace: our vision for the future

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Buyers, Digital Marketplace, Suppliers, Vision

Last March we published the first Digital Marketplace strategy. Since then so much has happened within GDS, across government, and within the Digital Marketplace programme.

We’ve spent the last couple of months finalising our priorities and thinking about the team we need to support this. We also now know our budget for the next financial year.

The new Government Digital Strategy is currently being developed and we’re aiming to publish our new Digital Marketplace strategy around the same time.

What we’ve achieved so far

When former programme director Tony Singleton gave an update early last year, he said that we’d apply the Government Digital Service (GDS) design principles to deliver Digital Outcomes and Specialists.

This was a bold move and represented a new way of thinking and working.

For the last 12 months, our team has been working to deliver Digital Outcomes and Specialists, alongside Government Legal Department (GLD) and Crown Commercial Service (CCS).

User needs, not government needs

We listened to buyers and suppliers to understand the context in which they’re using the Digital Marketplace. We’ve been thinking about all aspects of the procurement and contracting process, building a service that adds up to something that meets user needs.

Creating an innovative and diverse supply market

We’ve reduced barriers to entry into the public sector market, making it easier for suppliers to sell to government, supporting local economies and creating new jobs.

The public sector now has access to a greater number of new and innovative suppliers, many of whom have never had the opportunity to work with government before.

With the addition of Digital Outcomes and Specialists, there are now 2,967 suppliers on the Digital Marketplace. 91% of those are SMEs and. 52% of Digital Outcomes and Specialists suppliers are new to the Digital Marketplace.

How we’re helping the public sector buy what it needs to deliver great digital services

Here’s a summary of where we are now and our vision for the future. We’ll expand on these points in our new strategy.

So good that users prefer them

We’ll encourage a user-centred approach to procurement and contract design, setting a new standard in public procurement. We’ll continue to talk to buyers both in central government and across the wider public sector to ensure the Digital Marketplace meets our users’ needs.

By delivering Digital Outcomes and Specialists, we’ve done the hard work to make it simple. We're creating new digital procurement templates and model contracts for use across government. We’ll continue to work closely with policy colleagues in CCS and GLD to iterate and improve these.

We want the Digital Marketplace to be our users’ preferred route for buying and supplying digital and technology.

Building collaborative supplier relationships

Suppliers are an essential part of the delivery teams across government. Collaboration is at the heart of this. GDS, departments, existing and new suppliers, all have something unique to offer, all working together towards common goals, focused on joint delivery.

Real transformation requires real collaboration. Transforming government, together.

Going wholesale: scaling the Digital Marketplace

We’ll work to make the Digital Marketplace scalable, reusable and shareable, in line with other cross-government platforms. We want public sector contracting organisations to be able to open and award their own frameworks on the Digital Marketplace.

Until then, we’ll continue to deliver framework iterations for G-Cloud and Digital Outcomes and Specialists.

Building capability and increasing self-service

In addition to supporting GDS’ commissioning needs, we’ll continue to help public sector buyers become self-sufficient in their use of the Digital Marketplace.

The Digital Marketplace is for everyone. Working alongside colleagues in the GDS Technology Group we’ll help to build capability by providing education and support to those who need it.

Enabling end-to-end buying that’s as frictionless for users as possible

We’ll continue to iterate the Digital Marketplace to allow fast, legally compliant, and end-to-end buying for digital and technology services.

We’ve already blogged about delivering the earliest usable product for Digital Outcomes and Specialists. In the future we’ll provide a full, end-to-end user journey that includes the ability to evaluate a shortlist, notify successful suppliers and generate and sign a contract digitally.

We’re currently discovering user needs, business needs and the technologies available to enable a transaction from purchase to payment, through the Digital Marketplace.

Make things open: it makes things better

I’ve already blogged about how we’re applying our tenth design principle to improve and open up procurement and contract data, implementing the Open Contracting Data Standard, and working with the GDS registers team.

We’ll also make our Digital Marketplace service usage data more open. We’d like suppliers to be able to monitor their own performance working with government. Built-in analytics will enable us and our suppliers to design with data, to continue iterating services in response to real-time user behaviour and user needs.

As always, we’ll be thinking out loud by blogging here regularly. Please register to the Digital Marketplace blog to keep up to date with our progress.

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