A casual observer of the much-hyped “cloud wars” would assume the hyperscale cloud providers are neck-and-neck as they compete to attract new customers.
A closer look at UK public sector IT contracts data shows nothing could be further from the truth: AWS utterly dominates, with Azure lagging and GCP out of sight.
Over the past two financial years, AWS has been awarded £63.14 million in contracts on government cloud services procurement framwork G-Cloud. Over the 2018 2020 period, it is pipped to top contractor spot only by DXC’s Entserv, Crown Commercial Services (CCS) data seen by Computer Business Review reveals.
The numbers may understate the scale of its dominance: if you factor in contracts awarded to Amazon Web Services EMEA Sarl as well as Amazon Web Services Inc., AWS has won over £118 million in public sector contracts since 2018, with the Home Office and HMRC the biggest buyers: both have spent upwards of £30 million with AWS.
Microsoft meanwhile has won £34 million in contracts on G-Cloud over the same 24 month period. GCP does not rank, although it was not immediately clear if some of the system integrators listed ultimately tapped it for services.
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Procurement framework G-Cloud has been a considerable success for the government, with the Crown Commercial Service (CCS)’s technology director Niall Quinn telling Computer Business Review late last year that “it made people re-compete for work all the time, which broke the hegemony of the big system integrators.”
(Large consultancies have been displaced notably in the past two years on G-Cloud by AWS, but stretch the figures back to a five-year timescale and the top five contract awardees look notably different, and are are led by CapGemini, with £149 million in contracts: see chart at left).
G-Cloud is set to be replaced soon for cloud services buyers by a hyperscale cloud-specific procurement framework, Quinn told us late last year, saying: “If you’re done a big digital transformation and you’re putting your books and records into the cloud, you don’t want to compete every two years.
“You’ve made a decision, so maybe the term should be five years, basically for certain, for certain types of storage. There’s no point in re-competing all the time; re-competing has a cost associated with it, and moving has a cost associated with it.”
The £1.6 billion in broader “digital” spend outside of the cloud over the past five years meanwhile has seen a company with much less name recognition dominate: Belfast-headquartered Kainos Software comes out as the top contractor, with £187 million in contracts across 21 different government departments.
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