Last week, the Cabinet Office announced a mandate called ‘Cloud First’ which makes it compulsory for all central government ICT procurement departments to consider and fully evaluate cloud solutions before considering alternative ‘on-premise’ options.
Although government departments and agencies are free to choose non-cloud based solutions, they will need to demonstrate that they represent better value for money. A Cabinet spokesperson has also stated that other public sector bodies will be ‘strongly recommended’ to adopt the ‘cloud first’ policy too.
The announcement was made on the same day that the Cabinet Office confirmed that the third version of its CloudStore IT buying catalogue had gone live under the banner of ‘G-Cloud iii’, the most recent iteration of the G-Cloud supplier framework.
The announcement underlines the government’s commitment to reducing IT spend through the widespread adoption of cost-effective cloud-based alternatives to on premise software implementations.
Government Minister, Francis Maude said last week:
“G-Cloud brings a step change in the way government buys IT. It’s quicker, cheaper and more competitive, open to a wider range of companies, including a majority of SMEs, and offers more choice and innovation.”
Says Maude: “Many government departments already use G-Cloud, but IT costs are still too high. One way we can reduce them is to accelerate the adoption of Cloud across the public sector to maximise its benefits. The Cloud First policy will embed the skills a modern civil service needs to meet the demands of 21st-century digital government and help us get ahead in the global race.”
Since G-Cloud launched in 2012, government departments have spent over £18 million pounds with private sector suppliers – two thirds of this with SMBs as opposed to the ‘oligopoly’ of large companies who have hitherto dominated the supply of software, hardware and IT services to the government.
The G-Cloud iii framework features more than 700 suppliers – 80% of which are SMBs – offering over 5,000 cloud related products and services. According to G-Cloud program director Denise McDonagh, the framework will only enhance the cost and innovation benefits of a more competitive marketplace.
Advanced 365 has been awarded a place onto the G-Cloud iii framework, further cementing its position as a leading supplier of Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Software as a Service (Saas) products and a highly experienced supplier to public sector organisations.