Government admits G-Cloud service is ‘underused’

Dan Worth| V3

The government has admitted that its cloud computing service G-Cloud is currently “underused” by public sector authorities.
The service is designed to allow the public sector to meet IT requirements by taking advantage of tools hosted in the cloud and reducing the complexity in procuring services. It is also designed to help SMEs sell to the government more easily.

However, cabinet officer minister Francis Maude said although some departments are benefiting from the G-Cloud, more need to be made aware of its use.

“It’s underused so far. There’s huge potential and those parts of the public sector that have use the CloudStore have shown very substantial savings and the ability to get stuff done very quickly,” he said.

The latest figure, from March, said that just £18m has been spent on the G-Cloud, although this is now out of date. The service celebrated its one-year anniversary earlier this year but analysts said it has struggled to gain much traction. It is still growing as 368 more firms were added to the roster of services earlier this year.

However, Maude said the G-Cloud was part of the ongoing push within the government to improve contracts in order to break the old dominance of the major IT suppliers and let smaller, younger companies into the government IT supplier arena.

“We were in a bad cycle and we ran procurements that were very complex and ran very slowly. This meant, in the world of IT, we were buying things that were obsolete by time they arrived and by the end of the contract they were ancient,” he said.

“By breaking that up you get more visibility, more transparency to see what we’re paying, and we can allow newer, smaller, more innovative and more dynamic suppliers to break into the market.”

Maude made the comments at an event on Monday announcing government savings of £10bn in the last financial year. IT savings made up a bulk of this, thanks to services like Gov.UK and a more ruthless attitude to contracts with large companies.

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