With the latest iteration of the G cloud Framework (version 4) launched today alongside the closure of the application process for the GDS digital services framework, it is now even more important to build confidence in Drupal and open source products in the public sector.
Having worked with public sector clients for over eight years I recognised the need for a campaign to build confidence in open source 18 months ago and launched our handy guide to open source for the public sector.
Since our appointment onto the G Cloud back in the first iteration, I have been fortunate enough to work with some of the leading public sector organisations who have embraced and embedded the government's digital by default strategy. They recognised that frameworks such as the G cloud offered an ideal mechanism to improve efficiency, and reduce costs by going direct to market and via SMEs.
Peter Edwards, digital services manager at the British Council, has worked tirelessly with me to spread the word and encourage both suppliers and buyers that digital by default, open source, and moreover drupal, can unlock potential and deliver real engagement with stakeholders and service users. Not only this, but by purchasing via the G Cloud, procurement time is almost halved and there are savings of hundreds of thousands of pounds to be made by cutting out the middle man.
Further, the digital by default strategy has thrown the spotlight on some of the most ground breaking digital projects and genuine user engagement.
This is great news for us open source evangelists as there are more and more local authorities, government departments, and non Departmental government bodies ready to transform their digital services and realise the cost savings to be made by embracing the open market. In the past 12 months alone we have secured contracts with the Care Quality Commission, Bristol City Council and a clutch of local councils, all adding to our existing public sector portfolio.
Now is the time for us to maximise these opportunities, to rally the troops and continue to present Drupal as the core open source CMS of choice for the public sector. If you are a potential buyer but have concerns over the procurement of open source, embedding digital by default, or the benefits that Drupal can bring, please get in touch and I can share contact details and case study examples of how it works in practice.
If you are a potential supplier, watch my talk at DrupalCamp London 2013 to see what the opportunities are.