Suppliers of cloud services have until the end of July to apply for inclusion on a new £20m framework contract spanning the next four years.

The Scottish Government published details of a ‘cloud and hosting services for the Scottish public sector and third sector organisations’ framework on the national procurement portal, Public Contracts Scotland on Thursday.

The scope will include the following domains and a maximum of eight suppliers will be included on the final framework, down from 12 on the last contract.

a) Public Cloud

b) Private Cloud

c) Community Cloud

d) Hybrid Cloud

e) Co-location

f) Cloud Transition Services

The deadline for application is midday on July 24, after which the bids for inclusion will be credit scored according to Dun & Bradstreet (D&B) failure risk score, with bidders having to achieve a score of over 50 to progress to the next stage.

The tender notice says: “The Authority, on behalf of Scottish Ministers are establishing a multi-supplier national framework agreement for the provision of Cloud Services. The key aims of the framework are to deliver efficient access to Cloud Services to the Scottish public sector offering value for money, in a safe, secure and environmentally friendly way. The full scope of services will include, but not be limited to, the current services being offered to the Scottish public sector:

– Platform as a Service (PaaS) & Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)

– Cloud hosting services such as public/private/hybrid cloud

– Traditional co-location and hosting

– Transition services

According to data relating to the existing cloud framework – available on the Public Contracts Scotland website and dating back to 2019 – £24m in contracts were awarded to March 2023.

The ‘Historical Management Information to March 2023’ document shows a total of £24,009,226.32 was spent with eight suppliers, including contract awards to the likes of Datavita, Brightsolid, Iomart, Pulsant, Proact, Nigsun and NVT. The vast majority of contract spend fell under private cloud, totalling £16,344,095.45, followed by co-location (£3,259,937.60) and then public cloud (£2,659,390.61).

Although organisations are encouraged to use the cloud services framework, they are not mandated to, so spend totals are indicative only for cloud provision across the public and third sectors in Scotland.