By Tony Collins
Chris Chant, Executive Director in the Cabinet Office working as Programme Director for the G-Cloud initiative, says in a blog post that “if you are an SME and you have a SaaS or other cloud service that government might use – we want to know about it”.
Chant says the government is changing the way it buys and uses IT. “We have trained our suppliers and ourselves to think that we need big, complex solutions to complicated problems; which has meant that all too often it’s only the big, complex suppliers that get a look in.
“We are changing all this. We are giving SMEs and ourselves a chance to work together by levelling the playing field for all IT suppliers.”
Chant says it won’t happen overnight and mistakes may be made. “This is new territory for many departments and very few are experienced at handling this new way of working.
“I think it’s fair to say that many just can’t see how this can happen yet though
many know it must.” Government users are not so different to others.
“First off government has realised that it’s not that different. From now
on, if government wants some IT, it needs to do what everyone else does and look at what’s already available, not just what we can pay to have built for us and not just what we are used to doing.
“It will be uncomfortable, uncharted territory for many but it must be done. It is unacceptable for things to remain the same. So if you are a SME and you have a SaaS or other cloud service that government might use – we want to know about it.”
Chant says that government will use open standards wherever it can, and buy IT on pay-as-you-go or short term contracts.
“Some contracts may be longer but there must be a break option, in my view, at no later than 12 months.
“Of course organisations will offer lower prices for longer lock-ins but, as I’ve said before, the cost of being unable to exit will almost always outweigh the savings.”
Chant says that if you are an SME, any supplier that’s never worked with government, or an existing supplier that “gets” cloud “you are the type of people we need to work with the deliver the savings all of us need”.
Talk to us, he adds.