The Government’s landmark Digital Marketplace, which helps the public sector buy IT services from a wide range of suppliers, has reached the impressive milestone of £1 billion in sales - the majority of which has gone to small businesses.
Launched in November 2014, the Digital Marketplace website - often called the Amazon for government IT - was designed to make it easier for public sector organisations to buy digital products and services. It replaced a range of frameworks and stores which were often confusing for buyers and suppliers to navigate.
As well as reaching £1 billion in total sales, the latest figures show that the new Marketplace has made it easier for businesses of all sizes to win government work. Over half (£521 million) of the total sales have now gone to small businesses, with nearly 90% of the 2,700 suppliers on the Marketplace being businesses of this size.
There is also evidence that the Marketplace is helping businesses to grow. A recent survey found that 31% of suppliers have increased their headcount as direct result of being on the Marketplace, with 5% increasing their turnover by £1 million or more.
Local economies are also benefiting, with figures showing that 58% of suppliers are now based outside of the M25 compared to the London-centric supplier base we had in 2010.
The Digital Marketplace uses cloud technology to provide a new single place for the public sector to buy IT services – such as site analytics, hosting services and digital specialists.
The simple design of the new website makes it easier for buyers to find what they need when they need it, and has been built using an agile, user-centric design approach. This means that it has been continually adapted and improved since its launch based on feedback from real users.
Cabinet Office Minister & Paymaster General, Matthew Hancock, said:
“The Digital Marketplace means that 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. I’ve seen for myself how innovative smaller businesses can be, and I’m really pleased that our reforms are giving these businesses a chance to help us deliver the world class public services that people expect.”