The Cabinet Office has announced the launch of G-Cloud 4 (G4) with 999 suppliers signed to the new framework, 84% of which are SMEs.

It was also revealed today that Amazon Web Services has finally signed up to the government's flagship cloud programme.

EC2's absence from the supplier list in the past had raised questions about the G-Cloud's credibility, where many had asked why the largest infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) provider in the world was not involved in the framework.

"Our reforms to government technology are designed to ensure the best possible service for users at the lowest cost for taxpayers. To make this possible we need a truly competitive marketplace," said Francis Maude, Cabinet Office minister.

"SMEs are a source of innovation and a crucial engine for growth. We will continue to knock down the barriers that have prevented them from winning public sector work in the past."

He added: "G-Cloud is a simpler, faster and cheaper way for the public sector to buy digital services. It allows companies of all sizes to benefit from our digital by default approach to government. I'm delighted that so many SMEs have won representation in this new iteration."

The G-Cloud is a key part of the government's reform agenda, which allows the public sector to procure pre-approved services in the cloud via an online catalogue, dubbed CloudStore. It is also one of the government's key mechanisms for getting more SMEs involved in working with Whitehall.

More than 200 extra suppliers have been signed to G4, compared to G-Cloud iii's 700 listed suppliers.

In all, CloudStore now sells more than 13,000 cloud services, of which 84% are provided by SMEs. Last month CloudStore reached £53.5 million cumulative sales, with 58% of spend going to SMEs.

"We are constantly working to improve G-Cloud and the CloudStore, making it more straightforward and less expensive for suppliers wanting to join the marketplace and for public sector customers to purchase the technology they need," said G-Cloud director Tony Singleton.

"For G4, we have fed in valuable intelligence and opinions from buyers and suppliers. But the job of lowering barriers to participation and making the process as easy and open as possible goes on. If you would like to tell us about your experience of G-Cloud, please get in touch at [email protected]"

Computerworld UK recently learned that future versions of the G-Cloud are set for a complete overhaul, with the aim of increasing transparency outside the procurement and purchasing of just cloud-based products. For example, it is expected that future frameworks will include everything from cloud services, to pencils.

For a list of all the suppliers signed to G4, click here.