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Maude: G-Cloud will cost £4.93m, but save government £340m

Maude: G-Cloud will cost £4.93m, but save government £340m

The government’s public cloud catalogue was launched in February

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The government’s G-Cloud framework is set to cost approximately £4.93 million, but save the public sector a total of £340 million, according to Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude.

Maude provided a written response to Michael Dugher, MP for Barnsley East, who queried the full cost of implementation for the G-Cloud framework and online application store.

“The estimated cost for the G-Cloud programme (including the CloudStore) is £4.93 million. The savings it is expected the programme will deliver are estimated at £340 million,” said Maude.

A catalogue of public cloud services for use by the public sector, entitled CloudStore, was launched in February of this year. It essentially compiles a list of suppliers that have signed up to a framework agreement, the G-Cloud, and includes software, platform and infrastructure-as-a-service providers.

Of the 257 suppliers enlisted to the framework, some 50 percent are SMEs, which supports the government’s agenda of moving away from working with a few select technology vendors who tie government departments to expensive, lengthy contracts.

Second iterations of both the CloudStore and the G-Cloud framework are expected to be released shortly, following a number of delays.

However, in a recent web seminar, newly appointed director of the G-Cloud, Denise McDonagh, who also serves as director of ICT at the Home Office, said that that the second iteration of the framework would include some new public cloud supplier heavyweights.

She said: “I am fully expecting Amazon and Salesforce to be on the G-Cloud too.”

Francis Maude was also asked by Dugher about the government’s progress in consolidating and rationalising public sector datacentres. However, Maude avoided providing specifics and said that the details of this would be provided in the government’s annual update of its ICT Strategy.

The annual update to the ICT strategy, however, was due to be published at the beginning of April, but has been pushed back by two months because “further integrity checks on metrics and savings data returned from central government departments” are being carried out.

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  • Bull UK G-Cloud to cost 49m but save 340m The governments comments about the savings that can be achieved through the use of G-Cloud and the likely costs of the project need to be taken with a large pinch of salt It is unclear how they have calculated these figures Whatever method they have used it is unlikely that they have factored into their equations the many issues and challenges which need to be overcome before the G-Cloud can become successfulOne problem it faces is how to manage change How can government and the wider public sector whose procurement process often ends up stalled by bureaucracy and red tape add amend or retire services from the catalogue quickly and efficiently In other words how can it maintain flexibility for change The restraints on public sector pay announced in the recent budget look set to make matters worse as this elusive flexibility will become even harder to achieve This is a significant programme of change that requires strong organisational management skills to ensure benefits primarily cost and flexibility are realisedThere will also be problems around cultural readiness again likely to be made worse by the changes announced in the recent budget Government may have created a catalogue in the shape of CloudStore that public sector businesses can buy from but are government agencies prepared for this After all these agencies are typically less culturally advanced than businesses in the private sector and it is debatable whether government users are ready for the kind of transformation that moving to the cloud may bring to interaction with IT systems and services Again the way the G-Cloud is currently configured it is a project that is more likely to lead to escalating cost rather than one to drive efficiencies and financial savingsby Andrew Carr sales and marketing director Bull UK amp Ireland
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