Archive for the ‘Public Sector Cloud World Forum’ Category

Public Sector Cloud World Forum – Day One Highlights

photo 2Day one of Public Sector Cloud World Forum has just come to a close. Here are the highlights:

  • Dirk van Rooy from European Commission outlined the European cloud policy framework and called for proposals for Horizon2020
  • Panellists from Government Digital Service, European Commission, Ministry of Finance in Denmark, Dutch Central Government, Kahootz and Fraunhofer Fokus focused on the level of real Cloud uptake in the public sector in different countries. Tony Singleton, Director, G-Cloud & Digital Commercial Programme gave an update on the UK experiences with G-Cloud and then the panellists discussed G-Cloud as a model for EU-wide G-Cloud.
  • Delegates learnt from the University of Sweden on how to move a decentralized public university to the cloud. Sören Berglund, CIO of the University talked about challenges, legal aspects and the results of the project.
  • A speaker from the Agency for Governmental IT Services, Ministry of Finance gave an insight on how they design Innovative IT services and cloud solutions for the Government

Day 2 will continue with more case studies from a number of leading councils in the UK as well as BBC, PolicyExchange and Health and Social Care Information Centre.

Day Two logos

CERN; world-leading research in the Cloud

A fascinating insight on hybrid cloud and other initiatives in a publicly-funded research organisation, from Bob Jones, Head of the Openlab Project, CERN. Bob is participating on a panel session at Public Sector Cloud World Forum entitled Regional Roundup: Reviewing European Cloud Initiatives for Societal Applications. Download the brochure here. Public Sector organisations can claim a free pass.

Bob Jones, CERNWhich opportunities, from your point of view, can cloud computing bring to the public sector?

Cloud computing will allow public authorities to revitalise their in-house IT systems with opportunities to rationalise their installations and off-load demand to commercial cloud service providers. While the initial interest is to reduce costs, further opportunities quickly arise by which we can expand the services we offer and their impact. In particular, cloud computing will allow us to generalise the access to our data sets so that the results of publicly funded research can have a greater impact on the economy and society as a whole. By working with commercial cloud services suppliers and networks of SMEs, such datasets can be exploited to develop new value added services for a range of business sectors.

How does your organisation plan to leverage cloud computing in the next 12 months?

At a technical level, we have been working with companies such as Rackspace via the CERN openlab project ( and making important contributions to the OpenStack software suite which is used to manage the resources in our two data centres. We expect to see the positive impact of many of these extensions and improvements  in the services we offer to our users over the next 12 months.

Through our work with the Helix Nebula initiative (, we have been able to deploy a hybrid cloud system linking our publicly funded resources to commercial cloud services. This now provides an integrated system where we can expand the nature and capacity of services available on-demand to meet our users expectations.

By working closely with commercial cloud services providers, research organisations including CERN, EMBL and ESA have provided the stimulus for the development of the Helix Nebula marketplace ( We expect this platform to expand in 2015 with new services, suppliers and procuring organisations. In particular we will be working towards what we refer to as ‘Information as a Service’ which builds on the datasets to establish an ecosystem of services which will potentially accelerate our research activities.

A key step now is to share our experiences and build a network of publicly funded research organisations that can work together to jointly procure innovative cloud services.

What are the main steps in building success and managing failure in public sector cloud implementations?

We have invested significant resources to investigate cloud computing technologies and their impact on our users, which has allowed us to develop a deployment plan that has ensured uninterrupted quality of service. The hybrid cloud model we see as being particularly attractive for the public sector since it gives us the freedom to choose which services, taking into account aspects such as policy, cost and maturity of the market, are offered on in-house resources or externally via commercial providers.

Why are you speaking at the Public Sector Cloud World Forum and what do you hope to get out from your time at the event?

I see the Public Sector Cloud World Forum as the occasion to share experiences with representatives from various domains within the public sector as well as cloud service providers and this will surely help shape our strategy for the future.

Join in the debate with Bob and the rest of our fantastic speaker line-up at Public Sector Cloud World Forum, 2-3 December, Kensington Close Hotel, London.

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Insights from the first UK Council to ‘Go Cloud’

We caught up with Rocco Labellarte, Head of Technology and Change Delivery, Royal Borough Windsor and Maidenhead, for an in-depth study of what public sector agencies should look for when rolling out a Cloud solution. Rocco is presenting a case study at Public Sector Cloud World Forum entitled First to the Cloud! Reflections on RWBM’s Journey to becoming the first UK Council to ‘Go Cloud’. Download the brochure here. Public Sector representatives can claim a complimentary pass, here.

Rocco LabellarteWhich opportunities, from your point of view, can cloud computing bring to the public sector?

The UK Government aims to drive down cost, improve efficiency and transform services with a Digital by Default choice. Significant savings will only start to flow when the public sector is able to challenge providers robustly, and their offerings can be compared like-for-like. This will grow as more Authorities move to the Cloud and share their collective experience. Transforming services will need much more than channel shift. Public sector delivery needs a complete overhaul to respond to the diverse and fast-changing demographic makeup of our country. By far the biggest opportunity, not yet centre-stage for local authorities, is that of simplifying through sharing solutions, moving from the parochial “we’ve always done it this way” to centres of excellence. Cloud computing, more than anything before, can enable this movement, if enough leaders across the public sector want to make it happen.

How does your organisation plan to leverage cloud computing in the next 12 months?

We have been recognised by GOV.UK as the first local authority in the UK to move fully into the Cloud. In eighteen months we have moved from a fully in-house maintained infrastructure to a Cloud computing environment with multiple providers of Infrastructure as a Service, Software as a Service. Having a more stable, resilient platform provides the foundation upon which to move toward Software as a Service solutions. The drivers are a major rationalisation of our massive software portfolio. We intend to reduce down from over 300 applications to a few dozen over the next 12 to 36 months. This will enable far greater control over the information we store, allowing us to provide far better access to that data both to individuals and through Open Data protocols. Equally importantly, SaaS will enable us to fully embrace Agile as a technique for continually improving the way we deliver our services. Finally, as more and more Authorities move to an “infrastructure-light” delivery model, the ability to share resources and services will take a big step forward.

What are the main steps in building success and managing failure in public sector cloud implementations? 

Infinite time, infinite resource and infinite budget mean you should never fail to deliver a project. Building success means ensuring your plans take any constraints on those three factors into account and managing expectations accordingly. Then you need to factor in the people, the politics (with a small p) and changing priorities as these are the three most common variables that constantly affect your ability to deliver.

Why are you speaking at the Public Sector Cloud World Forum and what do you hope to get out from your time at the event?

Not for the first time, the Public Sector is under pressure to deliver more with less. Doubts about whether or not Cloud computing is achievable or even desirable are voiced all the time. Sharing experiences is one of the values that underpin working in Government and, having delivered our own Cloud strategy, I’m interested in sharing our own and other people’s experiences, so we can build a more comprehensive picture of how best to succeed.

Join in the debate with Rocco at Public Sector Cloud World Forum, 2-3 December, Kensington Close Hotel, London.

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Next iteration of G-Cloud to be launched next month

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.

Public Sector Cloud World Forum: full programme announced

cloud-ps-468x60The Cloud World Series team is delighted to announce that the full brochure and agenda for Public Sector Cloud World Forum is now available to download.

Building on the knowledge, experience and contacts of the Cloud World Forum team, the agenda has been specifically designed to take you on a journey through a Cloud adoption strategy. Day one of the event consists of a top-level European Commission keynote session, and National Government case studies and panel debates (with participation from the CIOs of the Dutch and Austrian governments, and Tony Singleton OBE, G-Cloud Director), with the following headline themes.

  • European Commission official keynote address on cloud computing in the public sector
  • Latest updates on the UK’s G-Cloud Programme
  • Applying commercial world best practice to government cloud implementations
  • Utilising cloud solutions for societal applications including education, culture and science
  • Leveraging cloud for data management and sharing and in research and university institutions

Day two is all about practical implementation, packed with Local Authority CIO case studies, and data, regulation and privacy briefings. The headline themes of the day are:

  • Making the business for cloud in terms that will help achieve buy-in
  • Managing the architectural and operational challenges of a local authority cloud migration
  • When things go wrong! Strategies for surviving cloud vendor failure
  • Why do some public sector organisations avoid cloud? What are their concerns and how do you overcome them?
  • Security, governance and data protection considerations in public sector cloud

Download the complete brochure and agenda here.

Interested in sponsoring?

The event offers complimentary passes to public sector organisations, and we are already taking plenty of senior-level bookings. So don’t miss out on this opportunity to network with and learn from some of the leading lights in public sector IT, giving you the contacts and knowledge to apply to your Cloud infrastructure plans when you return to the office. Register today, and we can’t wait to see you in December.

Public Sector Cloud World Forum 2014 – Event Brochure Announcement #publicsectorcloud

Public Sector Brochure imageWe are delighted to announce that the event brochure for the Public Sector Cloud World Forum is now available for you to view today!

Taking place in London between the 2-3 December this year, the Public Sector Cloud World Forum will look at Government insights into:

  • European Commission cloud strategy and progress so far
  • Cloud solutions for central government applications
  • Local authority implementation experiences – benefits delivered and lessons learned
  • Benefits of cloud in culture, health, policing and education sectors
  • Security and data protection considerations

After the leading EMEA event, Cloud World Forum, attracted over 350 Public Sector delegates in June, the Cloud World Series is delighted to bring the much called for dedicated Public Sector Cloud event. As the requirements and limitations of the public sector are very different from those of enterprises, the Public Sector Cloud World Forum is the first and only event dedicated to the Cloud needs of the Public Sector in the EMEA region!

Click here to view the event brochure today!


Esendex has been accredited as a supplier on the G-Cloud 5 framework #publicsectorcloud

Esendex, a leading provider of mission-critical application-to-person SMS services to businesses, has now been accredited as an approved supplier on the G-Cloud 5 Framework. Their services are now available in the Cloud Store, the place to find cloud services approved by HM Government. Esendex has already had their first purchase through G-Cloud by a central government department.

G-Cloud is designed to benefit the public sector by providing a facility for public sector organisations to quickly and easily purchase cloud-based services.

Commenting on the accreditation, Sales and Marketing Director, Richard Tomlinson said:

“Delivering solutions to the public sector is an area in which we specialise in, so having been awarded a place on G-Cloud is a great achievement for us. We’re now able to expand our offering to our customers, meaning they can now buy our services without the time consuming and expensive procurement processes.”

Not only does this development bring SMS services to organisations quicker and at a lower procurement cost but it also contributes to the government’s “Digital by Default” initiative.

Tony Singleton G-Cloud and digital commercial programme director at the Government Digital Service reiterated the government’s intention to drive digital innovation within government using the G-Cloud framework.

Writing on his blog, he said:

“I have heard it said that G-Cloud has become business as usual. How I dislike that phrase, business as usual.

“It suggest to me that it’s job done, sit back, put your feet up. No, it is NOT business as usual, there is much to be done in transforming the way IT is not only bought but also consumed across the wider public sector.”


Public Sector Network, Supporting Media Partner of the Public Sector Cloud World Forum 2014

G-Cloud sales top £217m as wider public sector starts spending #publicsectorcloud

13008-PUBLIC-SECTOR-CLOUD-WF-LogoG-Cloud sales figures for the month of June have been released, showing the public sector spent just over £217.4m on cloud services through the CloudStore. But while the proportion of sales going to SMEs has fallen since last month, the proportion of cloud services being purchased by the wider public sector vis-à-vis central government has increased.

Total spending through G-Cloud to date has reached £217.4m as of the end of June, up from £192m at the end of May and £180m the previous month.

Raphaelle Heaf, head of engagement at Government Digital Service said the G-Cloud programme has reduced barriers to entry for working with government.

“SMEs are letting us know that their businesses are continuously growing both in revenue and employees. Not only have these frameworks reduced the barriers of entry for working with government but are delivering real growth to the economy,” she said.

But the overall proportion of contracts being won by SMEs seems to have fallen. About 53 per cent of the sum spent through G-Cloud so far (£116,133,932.17) has been spent with SMEs, with the remaining 47 per cent going to large enterprises and IT incumbents.

Last month, 63.6 per cent of the £192m spent through the cloud services programme had been spent with SMEs, and £83m or 36.4 per cent with large enterprises.

There has, however, been some improvement in getting the word about G-Cloud out to the wider public sector. Of the June spending 80 per cent of total sales by value were through central government, and 20 per cent through the wider public sector; this is compared to 87 per cent and 13 per cent, respectively.

London Borough of Hounslow Council, Thurrock Borough Council and Wigan Metropolitan Borough Council were among the top spenders of all the government bodies purchasing cloud services through G-Cloud in June.

Nevertheless, when recently asked what the biggest challenge will be for the programme over the next year is, Heaf said that it is without a doubt “getting the message across both government and the wider public sector” about the benefits cloud services and the evolving Digital Marketplace can deliver.

“It is now up to us to show that the Digital Marketplace can make it clearer, simpler and faster to do this,” she said.

The Digital Marketplace, which recently went into beta, will eventually replace both the CloudStore and the Digital Services Store, and will be the single point of procurement for digital and IT services for the public sector. It will go into public beta in the autumn with services qualified during the fourth and fifth iterations of G-cloud.

Source: Business Cloud News

Information Communications Technology (ICT) in the UK: investment opportunities #publicsectorcloud

Cloud computing

The UK cloud computing market is predicted to reach £6.1 billion by 2014 (source: TechMarketView) and offers big investment opportunities for companies in the ICT sector.

18% of UK small medium enterprises (SMEs) use cloud and a further 30% plan to use them in the next 12 months. 81% of established cloud users in the UK plan to increase cloud usage over the next 2 years.

Almost all software companies in the UK are using cloud. Opportunities exist in both the public and private sector for companies offering cloud or linked services.

Public sector opportunities

The UK government’s ICT strategy includes a strong focus on cloud technologies.

The G-Cloud Programme is changing how the public sector buys and uses Information Technology (ICT). This means more opportunities for companies to access government contracts. It’s designed to support the purchase of cloud based services.

By 2015 half of all new ICT spending by the UK government will be on public cloud services through the G-Cloud programme. This provides new opportunities for overseas companies looking to enter the market.

Private sector opportunities

The main reasons for businesses using cloud services in the UK are:

  • flexibility in meeting business demands
  • quicker disaster recovery
  • automation of software updates
  • increased collaboration between employees
  • reduction of costs
  • low cost of using cloud services

Small and medium sized UK companies are adopting cloud into their businesses which often gives them an advantage against competitors.

Opportunities exist across all the different models of cloud solutions, particularly the Software as a Service (SaaS) market, where applications are hosted by a vendor or service provider and made available to customers. Other areas include:

  • email
  • storage and sharing services
  • unified communications (telephone, online chat)
  • video-conferencing solutions

Many businesses are using software tools such as Salesforce automation and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and these continue to grow in the UK market. Other related software in demand includes:

  • marketing automation tools
  • social media management
  • email marketing
  • web analytics

Published 19 February 2014


Four critical areas for G-Cloud in the next 12 months #publicsectorcloud

This month saw the publication of the business plan for the GDS which lays out the focus of its work up until this time next year.

The scope of its work pipeline is impressive in its ambition and potential impact.

In digitising the top 25 most important government services by its 2015 deadline the GDS estimates it will save £979m each year.

Meanwhile, from its G-Cloud programme, it estimates that if the current rate of spend continues it will realise annual savings of around £200m by March 2015.

After being subsumed into the GDS last year it is good to see that G-Cloud has not only retained focus around driving the cloud agenda in government but the extent to which, as a relatively small part of the GDS, it is able to show that there is a compelling commercial reason for government to continue to put cloud at the heart of what it does.

But of course, there is always more that can be done. As we head out of the first year of Cloud First, this year is a critical one in driving the cloud agenda in the public sector. With that in mind here are four areas I think Tony Singleton and his team should focus on:

1) Continue to provide vocal leadership around the role of G-Cloud – G-Cloud is maturing in terms of supplier numbers and spend but what is still missing are the higher value transactions which are vital if it is to be seen as the definitive framework for cloud services.

As larger value contracts come up for procurement in the year ahead it is vital that G-Cloud team acts as vocal cheerleaders from within government to ensure departments are aware of and use the framework. This will be particularly important as CloudStore gets incorporated into the Digital Marketplace later this year…

Read the full article here.


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