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Exclusive: Google is taking on Microsoft and Amazon in the UK’s £600m public sector cloud market

Google has been listed on the government’s cloud services framework for the first time, giving the tech giant the chance to compete directly with Amazon and Microsoft in a £600m market.

The G-Cloud 10 framework lets public sector organisations, from the Home Office to the Ministry of Defence, procure cloud services from a list of approved companies. It is designed to boost business for smaller suppliers and features more than 3,500 firms.

Google’s previous absence from the framework meant it was forced to rely on managed service providers and resellers to win public sector work in the UK. Analysis by government contract experts at Tussell revealed that the company had directly won just two government contracts, worth £124,000, since January 2012. Over the same period, Amazon Web Services raked in more than £30m of contracts.

It appears that Google is now looking to significantly increase its work with government. In the latest version of G-Cloud, published earlier this month, it was listed as a prospective supplier of 57 cloud hosting services, putting it in the top 10 suppliers in the category, Tussell found. It was also listed as a supplier of cloud software.

Businesses’ growing appetite for cloud computing services drove a dramatic rise in earnings for both Amazon and Microsoft in the first quarter of the year. Amazon Web Services currently leads the sector, hoovering up around a third of the $16bn market.

Google did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The listing emerged as Google revealed it had successfully deployed AI systems devised by researchers at DeepMind to boost the efficiency of its data centres. “Instead of human-implemented recommendations, our AI system is directly controlling data centre cooling, while remaining under the expert supervision of our data centre operators,” the company’s engineers wrote in a blogpost. “This first-of-its-kind cloud-based control system is now safely delivering energy savings in multiple Google data centres.”