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G-Cloud in the UK Government

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The G-Cloud framework is a UK government programme aimed at promoting government-wide adoption of cloud computing. G-Cloud has been developed to give customers access to pay-as-you-go services as a cheaper alternative to traditionally sourced ICT. G-Cloud is a key component of the British Government’s ICT strategy.

The G-Cloud framework allows you to choose and purchase cloud services covering infrastructure, platform, software and specialist cloud services. The framework is for commodity based, pay-as-you go services.

 Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platforms as a Service (PaaS), Software as a Service (SaaS) and finely  for services outside of the three traditional ‘as a service’ (aaS) areas to support customers taking on cloud services.

The Crown Commercial Service has brought together Government’s central commercial capability into a single organisation, amalgamating Government Procurement Service with other commercial teams from the Cabinet Office and central government departments.

 

They are an executive agency of the Cabinet Office and operate as a trading fund under the Government Trading Funds Act 1973. With the remit to work with both government departments and organisations across the whole of the public sector to ensure maximum value is extracted from every commercial relationship and improve the quality of service delivery.

Macmillan suggested that the benefits of procuring services via this method are not currently being adequately communicated to potential buyers by the government, leaving G-Cloud in the dust when it comes to procurement for some public sector authorities.

Tony Singleton, the head of Government Digital Services (GDS), recently announced intentions to do more in promoting the G-Cloud framework to the wider public sector. This is following news that despite strong uptake amongst central government, between 2012 and 2013, only 1 per cent of local councils in England had procured IT services through G-Cloud’s online CloudStore.

The fallout from this is a reluctance to engage in reviewing existing service contracts, inevitably creating a vendor lock-in situation whereby public sector services are supplied solely by a select few vendors. This situation first arose with Enterprise Content Management (ECM) which was rushed into over 10 years ago.