The next iteration of the UK Government’s G-Cloud initiative will be rolled out for usage from next month, the Government Digital Service has announced.
In a the September Update on the Digital Marketplace blog, Tony Singleton OBE, Director of Digital Commercial Programme, Government Digital Service, states that the next iteration will be launched by the end of October, with the target for getting the frameworks in place being “as early in 2015 as possible”. Alongside this, GDS will be making the Digital Marketplace live, as a one-stop-shop for “cloud-based software, infrastructure, platforms, and the people and teams needed to help design and build digital services on a per-project or phase basis”. The Digital Marketplace, which is currently in its alpha testing phase, will combine the current CloudStore and Digital Services Store.
Singleton cites recent success stories of G-Cloud as evidence for its transformation of the way the public sector buys commodity IT services. These include:
- total sales so far reaching over a quarter of a billion pounds
- a total spend of £136m to SMEs
- the average spend so far this year running at £22m per month
- at least 356 new jobs in SMEs created as a result of G-Cloud
This statistics provide something of a PR boost for the G-Cloud programme, with early iterations of the platform reported as not being widely used, and many local authorities not knowing what they would actually use it for, with CIOs of others bemoaning the complexity of it. However, the HS2 CIO bucked that trend, describing the system as “relatively straightforward”.
Either way, global trends indicate that some of the most successful economies in terms of Cloud rollout have a top-to-bottom government Cloud policy; a recent notable example being New Zealand’s Cloud First programme, which has helped it leap up to 2nd place behind Japan in the Asia Cloud Computing Assocation’s Cloud Readiness Index. So even if G-Cloud and the Digital Marketplace aren’t immediately everyone’s cup of tea, they would appear to be here to stay.
Tony Singleton OBE and several local authority and national government CIOs will be addressing the audience at Public Sector Cloud World Forum, 2-3 December 2014, London.