Tag Archives: G-Cloud

Is Major Projects annual report truly ground-breaking?

By Tony Collins

Francis Maude, the Cabinet Office minister, describes as “nothing short of groundbreaking” a report of the Major Projects Authority which gives the RAG (Rred/Amber/Green) status of more than 100 major projects.

That the report came out late on Friday afternoon as most journalists were preparing to go home, some of them for the whole bank holiday weekend, suggests that the document was a negotiated compromise: it would be published but in such a way as to get minimal publicity.

Indeed the report is a series of compromises. It has the RAG status of projects but not the original text that puts the status into context.

Another compromise: senior civil servants in departments have persuaded Maude to publish the RAG decisions when they are at least six months old.

This enables departmental officials to argue their case in the “narrative” section of the MPA annual report that a red or amber/red decision is out-of-date and that there has been significant improvement since. This is exactly the DWP’s justification for the amber/red status on Universal Credit.

The DWP says in the MPA report: “This rating [amber/red] dates back to September 2012, more than seven months ago. Since then, significant progress has been made in the delivery of Universal Credit. The Pathfinder was successfully launched and we are on course both to expand the Pathfinder in July 2013 and start the progressive national roll-out of Universal Credit in October.”

That the Pathfinder was launched successfully might have nothing to do with Universal Credit’s amber/red status which could be because of uncertainties over how the IT will perform at scale, given the complexities and interdependencies.  The MPA report says nothing about the uncertainties and risks of Universal Credit.

More compromises in the MPA annual report: the Cabinet Office appears to have allowed departments to hide their cost increases on projects such as HMRC’s Real-time Information [RTI] in the vague phrase “Total budgeted whole life costs (including non-government costs).”

The Cabinet Office has also allowed departments to write their own story to accompany the RAG status. So when HMRC writes its story on RTI it says that “costs have increased” but not by how much or why. We know from evidence that HMRC gave to the Public Accounts Committee that RTI costs have risen by “tens of millions of pounds”. There is nothing to indicate this in the MPA annual report.

Another compromise in the MPA annual report: there are no figures to compare the original forecast costs of a project with the projected costs now. There are only the 2012/13 figures compared with whole-life projected costs (including non-government projected spend).

And the MPA report is not comprehensive. It came out on the same day the BBC announced that it was scrapping its Digital Media Initiative which cost the public £98m. The MPA report does not mention the BBC.

The report is more helpful on the G-Cloud initiative, showing how cheap it is – about £500,000. But there is little information on the NHS National Programme for IT [NPfIT] or the Summary Care Record scheme. 

Yet the MPA annual report is ground-breaking. Since Peter Gershon, the then head of the Office of Government Commerce, introduced Gateway reviews of risky IT projects about 12 years ago with RAG decisions, they have remained unpublished, with few exceptions. The Cabinet Office is now publishing the RAG status of major departmental projects for the first time. Maude says

“A tradition of Whitehall secrecy is being overturned. And while previous Governments buried problems under the carpet, we are striving to be more open. By their very nature these works are high risk and innovative.

“They often break new ground and dwarf anything the private sector does in both scale and complexity. They will not always run to plan. Public scrutiny, however uncomfortable, will bring about improvement. Ending the lamentable record of failure to deliver these projects is our priority.”

Comment

The MPA annual report is a breath of fresh air.

Nearly every sentence, nearly every figure, represents compromise. The report reveals that the Universal Credit project was last year given an amber/red status – but it doesn’t say why. Yet the report has the DWP’s defence of the amber/red decision. So the MPA report has the departmental defences of the RAG decisions, without the prosecution evidence. That’s a civil service parody of openness and accountability: Sir Humphrey is allowed to defend himself in public without the case against him being heard.

But it’s still useful to know that Universal Credit is at amber/red.  It implies well into the project’s life that the uncertainties and risks are great. A major project at amber/red at this stage, a few months before go-live, is unlikely to turn green in the short term, if ever.

Congratulations

The Cabinet Office deserves congratulations for winning the fight for publication of the RAG status of each major project. Lord Browne, the government’s lead non-executive director and a member of the Cabinet Office’s Efficiency and Reform group, has said  that billions of pounds of taxpayers’ money is being frittered away because of “worryingly poor” management of government projects.

“Nobody ever stops or intervenes in a poor project soon enough. The temptation is always to ignore or underreport warning signs,” he says.

The management of some large projects – usually not the smaller ones – is so questionable that departments ignore advice to have one senior responsible owner per major project, says the MPA.

The MPA annual report will not stop the disasters. Its information is so limited that it will not even enable the public – armchair auditors – to hold departments to account. Senior civil servants have seen to that.

But the report’s publication is an important development: and it provides evidence of the struggle within Whitehall against openness. Francis Maude and Sir Bob Kerslake, head of the civil service, have had to fight to persuade departmental officials to allow the RAG status of projects to be published. The Guardian’s political editor Patrick Wintour says of the MPA annual report

“Publication led to fierce infighting in Whitehall as government departments disputed the listings and fought to prevent publication.”

Large-scale change

If Maude and Kerslake struggled to get this limited distance, and there is still so much left to reform, will large-scale change ever happen?

Maude and his officials have as comprehensive mandate for change from David Cameron as they could hope for. Yet still the Cabinet Office still seems to have little influence on departments. When it comes to the big decisions, Sir Humphrey and his senior officials hold onto real power. That’s largely because the departments are responsible to Parliament for their financial decisions – not the Cabinet Office.

Maude and his team have won an important battle in publishing the MPA annual report. But the war to bring about major change is still in its very early stages; and there’s a general election in 2015 that could halt Maude’s reform plans altogether.

The Major Projects Authority Annual Report.

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The debate over G-Cloud – have your say

By David Bicknell

A debate is running over the Government’s plans for G-Cloud. It follows Chris Chant’s Unacceptable IT is pervasive blog on his departure, a response to the comments received on Chant’s blog by his successor, Denise McDonagh, about Cloud Cynicism, and now, and this must break some new ground, a government-hosted ‘crowdsourcing’ opportunity for you to have your say and influence the debate.

Please add your thoughts here

Home Office’s IT Director McDonagh to take over Chant role at G-Cloud

By David Bicknell

Denise McDonagh, currently director of IT at the Home Office, is to take over responsibility for G-Cloud from Chris Chant who leaves at the end of the month.

In this announcement, as well as discussing McDonagh’s role as Chant’s replacement on G-Cloud, the government said that it is on track to launch the next iteration of the G-Cloud framework in late or early May.  It will incorporate a new approach that incorporates the ability to add new suppliers and services on a quarterly (or possibly more frequent) basis.  It suggests that this will be a procurement first in the UK, and possibly even in the world.  Existing G-Cloud suppliers should be able to move to the new framework with just a small amount of effort, it says. A series of new deals on the framework is also set  to be to announced.

Prior to the announcement of his departure, Chant had written a blog post that argued that unnacceptable IT is pervasive.

He suggested that:

“Real progress has been blocked by many things including an absence of capability in both departments and their suppliers, by a strong resistance to change, by the perverse incentives of contracts that mean its cheaper to pay service credits than to fix the problem and by an unwillingness to embrace the potential of newer and smaller players to offer status quo-busting ideas.

“CIOs across government, including me in various roles at the centre of government, have been guilty for too long of taking the easy path.  We have done the unacceptable and thought we were doing a great job.  We have:

  • Signed contracts with single suppliers that have led to both poor service and high costs, because that is the way government did things
  • Failed to let in innovative suppliers because of the constraints of those large contracts, because new suppliers, we figured, brought risk and uncertainty
  • Designed and delivered solutions that look, in today’s world, ridiculously expensive and over-engineered because we thought that was the right thing to do
  • Allowed our users to suffer with IT that is a decade – or more – behind what they are using at home because the security considerations for government are different and stricter from those for everyone else”

But, over the last 18 months, working on G-Cloud as well as the immediate forerunner of the Government Digital Service, Chant said he had seen the real signs of change, with some in the public sector no longer willing to put up with the poor service and delivery that they have experienced and they are actively looking for new ways of working. Notably, he suggested, big departments openly talk about wanting to get away from the traditional model of big, cumbersome IT and are serious.

Now, he went on, things get harder, notably:

Managing Multiple Suppliers

  • Departments are no longer going to have an easy ride as they seek to extend an existing contract or renew what they have now (a large single supplier monopoly over their IT).   They’re going to be pushed to break up contracts into smaller pieces, contract with or involve more SMEs and reuse what is already in place elsewhere.    There is no better place to start than by getting something you already have, or something that you need to have, from the G-Cloud framework. CIOs will need to increase the capability of their teams – and their own capability too – otherwise they will find that they are no longer playing a part in this new approach.  Some CIOs and some teams will not be able to make that transition.

Apples With Apples

  • For years, obtaining data about what government pays for IT and, worse, what it gets for that money has been mission impossible.  With transparency, increasing use of frameworks and smaller contracts, it will be easier than it has ever been to compare like for like costs across departments. CIOs will want to get ahead of that curve now and find out what their IT is truly costing them so that they can compare what new market offers really provide and whether it is worth making an early switch – and the pressure to make that switch before the end of the contract is only likely to increase as the true size of cost reductions becomes evident.

Digital By Default

  • The need to design services around the customer will become pervasive -whether that customer is a citizen in front of a web browser at home or one of our own staff working in an office.  The shift to “digital by default” (rather than “digital as well”) is fundamental and will cause a wholesale upheaval in organisations across government.   People who thought they were in charge of delivering transactions probably won’t be. People who are on the inside of government might find themselves moved to the outside and entirely new product offers will come about as a result.

IT in government has certainly come a long way, he insisted, but added that “..it just hasn’t come far enough.  It remains unacceptable.  The trends of the last couple of years – transparency, open data, open services, SMEs – aren’t going away; if anything, they will go stronger and bed in deeper.”

What needs to happen next, Chant said, is that:

  • CIOs across government need to recognise what has changed and stop hiding behind the comfort blanket of what has always been done before. That blanket is on fire.
  • Big suppliers should see the smoke from that comfort blanket and recognise that the world of government IT has changed.  They can no longer rely on delivering poor service for big money and get away with it.  The customer approach is changing and they will need to change too, or be consumed by the flames.
  • SMEs should embrace the opportunity they now have and bring their capabilities – speed, flexibility and low prices – to the government market.  For the first time, government is ready.

(My Campaign4Change colleague Tony Collins is currently away, but will be back shortly)

G-Cloud chief Chris Chant to retire

Coalition responds to Administration committee’s “Recipe for rip-offs” criticism of Government IT

By David Bicknell 

The Coalition has responded to the Public Administration Committee’s January follow up to its report  “Government and IT – “A recipe for rip-offs: time for a new approach” which was published in July 2011. 

In a Memorandum to the Committee, the Government said it welcomed its interest in and support for government Information and Communication Technology (ICT). It insisted that “ICT is vital for the delivery of efficient, cost-effective public services which are responsive to the needs of citizens and businesses.

“The Government’s ICT Strategy set out how the Government ICT landscape would change over the current spending review period, and included 30 actions which form the foundation activities for achieving the Strategy’s core objectives of: reducing waste and project failure, and stimulating economic growth; creating a common ICT infrastructure; using ICT to enable and deliver change; and strengthening governance.”

It its responses to the Committee’s recommendations, the Government said the following:

Oligopoly of large suppliers and benchmarking

Committee Recommendation:

The Cabinet Office’s commitment to benchmarking through transparent data, as outlined in the Government’s response, will help to quantify the gap between high and low cost products and services, but without the independent external advice which we recommended to identify reliable cost comparisons, the overall outcome will not change, and the Government will not achieve its cost reduction agenda.

Government Response:

Government is committed to creating a fairer, more competitive and open marketplace from which it buys its ICT services and solutions. Government is in the process of breaking the contractual lock-in which places the majority of government ICT business with a small group of major systems integrators.

This process will remove exclusivity from the contracts, and rigorously record every contractual breach. It will also gather data centrally on the performance and pricing of all suppliers to provide a consolidated view of their competitiveness and performance.

In parallel, Government is consulting on new frameworks that will enable more agile procurement, and open the market to more Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs). Some existing frameworks are not in alignment with government policy, and are limited to existing large suppliers.

These frameworks will be deprecated in favour of new frameworks that support re-introducing greater competition into the provision of ICT goods and services. Doing so will remove the current advantage enjoyed by the existing large supplier base in order to re-establish a truly level playing field.

The recent work to restructure the current ASPIRE contract demonstrates how government is working to ensure better value for taxpayers, break up large contracts and create opportunities for new, smaller companies to enter the market.

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and the Cabinet Office negotiated with the IT supplier, Capgemini, to deliver a significant restructure of the current ASPIRE contract and savings for HMRC. The new deal reached will lead to a diverse supply chain with transparent pricing (removal of the current exclusivity agreement), open choice for HMRC and significantly enhanced value for money. By 2017 the new deal will help deliver:

  • Cost savings: £200 million saved by paying less per unit of IT services provided and potential for further savings by open competition, volume reductions and direct relationships between HMRC and subcontractors;
  • More freedom: HMRC will now have more control to run open competitions for its IT needs, enabling more opportunities for innovative SME suppliers and greater control over the volume of work going through the contract;
  • Greater transparency: transparency in pricing is enhanced further to assist with value for money comparisons; and
  • Future Model – a future model that breaks lock-ins and gives HMRC the flexibility and control to drive its own savings and innovation.

Government is working to improve the quality of its ICT management information. One example of substantive progress is the recent G-Cloud framework which requires all suppliers to openly publish full details of their pricing (see http://www.govstore.net/).

In addition to this transparency, the pricing levels achieved for provision of these services are being used as benchmarks against which incumbent suppliers are being measured. Government expects all supplier costs to be reduced to match or better these benchmarks, producing substantial cost reductions.

A project is also beginning to gather information on contracts data for all current ICT suppliers and departmental benchmarking of ICT unit price data. The unit price benchmarking will build on a tool established within HMRC which, following a year of use, provided HMRC with a detailed breakdown of costs relating to IT and helped the department realise many benefits including £24m savings and a 30% reduction in the number of confidential desktops.

The National Audit Office has recommended that the tool be rolled out further across government. This project will provide the opportunity to benchmark across government, and also enable external independent reviews to measure comparability with private sector peers.

The Government’s intention is also to publish as much of this data for public scrutiny as possible. It is looking to embed this approach in its handling of all its large suppliers, including software developers.

The Government will also shortly be announcing a new memorandum of understanding with Oracle that will show how its new, commercially aware, intelligent customer approach will deliver financial and significant operational benefits.

Legacy systems

Committee Recommendation:

We are not convinced that the Government‘s approach to legacy systems properly addresses the underlying issues. At the very least, the Government should produce a long term risk-register identifying where and when investment will be needed to migrate and replace existing legacy systems.

Government Response:

The Government has recognised the challenge it faces in delivering services with both new and older systems. It is right to ensure that departments have a range of credible options regarding the choices they make about their legacy systems. Different circumstances will require different options.

Departments, which understand in detail both the business functions provided by their systems and the technical constraints that act upon them, are best placed to determine the appropriate option. All departments will be producing plans to show how their systems will conform over time to the Government’s ICT Strategy principles, objectives and standards. These will be subject to challenge and co-ordination to ensure that they result in a viable plan for Government as a whole.

All major commitments to expenditure, whether in “wrapping” legacy systems to enable their continued use or in implementing new systems to provide the necessary business functions, will be subject to appropriate spending controls and approvals.

Assessments at this stage will take account of relevant factors including value, cost, budgetary constraints and risk.

Capability within Government

Committee Recommendation:

We welcome and endorse the Government’s acknowledgement of the need to grow its capacity in commercial skills of procuring and managing contracts, not just technical IT skills, in order to become an ‘intelligent customer’. Specific training for the Senior Civil Service in technology policy will also be welcome, as will the growth of a network of ‘champions’ of agile development. However, it is not clear from the Government’s response to our report that its actions will be adequate to cope with the scale of behavioural and process change required across the whole of Government, nor that the agile ‘champions’ will have sufficient seniority, expertise or support.

Government Response:

The Government recognises that raising commissioning and procurement skills is vitally important to get better outcomes for the taxpayer and to stimulate growth through public procurements, including greater use of SMEs.

It has already developed new LEAN standard operating procedures for central government underpinned by training available for all civil servants. It is now working on similar improvements for contract and supplier management and commissioning.

The Cabinet Office has also been piloting a two-way commercial interchange programme with industry to bring private sector expertise into Government. Civil Service Learning (CSL) is currently developing a suite of training on commercial awareness which will be available to all Civil Servants via the CSL portal in spring/summer 2012.

In parallel, the Government is determined to return world-class Project Leadership capability to Whitehall to improve the delivery of the Government’s £400 billion portfolio of Major Projects, which includes ICT projects.

In order to achieve this, the Major Projects Authority has established the UK Major Projects Leadership Academy (MPLA), in partnership with Oxford Saïd Business School, to target the SROs and Project Directors leading the Government’s Portfolio. The key focus of the MPLA will be on leadership, business acumen and commercial expertise from both an academic and practical angle and will include lessons learned from previous major projects including ICT projects.

Part of the Academy programme will involve an assessment of capability and previous experience of Project Leaders, with a tailored development plan designed for each individual. This will ensure that there is a clear picture of the capability within the Civil Service and inform decisions of where to best deploy their expertise.

The Government fully recognises the point that Agile “champions” may not have sufficient seniority, expertise or support and are working on identifying and putting in place senior Agile Leads within departments to drive and embed the behavioural and process change required to make this a success.

SMEs – when to choose them and when not

By Ian Makgill

The key to giving business to SMEs is to understand when SME suppliers can meet the needs of government and when it is best not to try and resist the gravitational pull of a large supplier.  

Some of this is obvious.  You wouldn’t expect the government to award banking services or insurance contracts to an SME. On the other hand, there is no real reason why legal services or consulting contracts can’t be provided almost entirely by SMEs, with only a couple of larger providers required for national programmes with multiple sites. In fact, it is a great shame that Government Procurement Service’s (GPS) new tender for consulting services does not utilise the regional model that they’ve previously used for temporary medical staff.

GPS has scored a couple of hits with SMEs, firstly with the appointment of Redfern Travel as the preferred travel management provider and secondly, with the choice to let the G-Cloud IT framework. It may be that Redfern ceases to meet the exact criteria of being an SME once the contract is fully embedded in Central Government, but that’s the whole point, to drive growth through smaller businesses. The G-Cloud framework provides a meaningful opportunity for SME suppliers to sell complex services to government, and may also help government to break their addiction to monolithic, large scale IT projects (as typified by the CSA’s latest IT tender with 90,000 specified requirements.)

Cloud services offer a remarkable opportunity for small teams to serve millions of people. A good example is 37signals, a Chicago web design company that created a project management tool called Basecamp. Its team of 32 staff currently service three million customers.

It is equally important to know when not to try and counter market forces.

Take agency staff.

We’ve been doing some very detailed work in this area, and there is an inexorable move towards using large, national suppliers. These suppliers can provide much more competitive margins and better services and data to public bodies. The market is healthy in terms of competition and there is room for smaller suppliers to become second tier suppliers to some of the national companies. Clearly the option to become a second tier supplier, or to lose their existing business is not good news for smaller suppliers, but with such strong benefits available to public bodies it would make no sense to try and resist developments that are affecting the whole market.

There needs to be a much deeper understanding of the characteristics of contracts that can be fulfilled by SME suppliers and a comprehensive strategy to follow up on that work, and to prevent government issuing restrictive tenders that see SMEs unnecessarily barred from doing business with Government, or spin-out mutuals facing procurement hurdles that are inappropriate to them. Until that strategic work is done, then there is a risk that the appointment of SMEs to government contracts will be haphazard, with a few notable successes and far too many failures.

Ian Makgill is the Managing Director of Govmark, researchers who specialise in government contracting.

Download Govmark’s report into agency staff in local government

A standard cloud-based ERP for central govt?

By Tony Collins

 The Cabinet Office has published “Government Shared Services: A Strategic Vision – July 2011″ which suggests a  “cloud- based ERP standard platform which Departments could buy into and from”.

The idea is part of the coalition’s plans to standardise IT systems within government. Standardising could save money – but, as the Public Administration Select Committee warned last week, not if standardising means giving even more control of government IT to a few large, monopolistic suppliers.

The Cabinet Office says that a number of Departments are due to upgrade their supporting IT systems for back office corporate services in the coming years.

 “A co-ordinated management approach by Government will lower the cost of reinvestment whilst enabling a rationalisation of the current landscape,” says the Cabinet Office.

“For example, a number of large Departments who have implemented and operate an Enterprise Resource Platform (ERP) solution need to plan for the expiration of support to the current instance by 2013.

 “This presents an opportunity for UK Government to source a “vertical” solution for a “cloud based” ERP standard platform which Departments could buy into and from.”

On Shared Services, the plan is to 

“reform how Central Government procures and manages consolidated back office corporate services – by establishing an equitable market of a small number of accredited Independent Shared Service Centres and enabling Departments and their ALBs [arm’s-length bodies] to choose between these – in order to drive up quality and reduce costs of these services, in support of Governments cost reduction targets.”

The Cabinet office says that approved shared services centres will “provide outcome based services, using standardised simplified processes, with the expectation to regularly publish performance data against established benchmarks”.

They will be able to make use of different business models – such as mutualisation – to “leverage capability and the financial investment needed to deliver this service and may operate virtually or from a small number of fully integrated delivery centres”.

Government shared services – a strategic vision. July 2011

Some useful insight into ongoing G-Cloud development

By David Bicknell

I came across this blog by Alan Mather on e-govenment, commenting on some of the recent rumour and speculation around the future of G-Cloud, especially in light of some recent comments attributed to Nick Wilson at HP.

Mather’s insight on G-Cloud makes for interesting reading:

“Everything I hear today is that G-Cloud is alive and well. It is, though, a programme, not a thing. There isn’t going to be a big cloud (in the sky) owned by government into which each and every bit of IT will be shovelled, dribbled or piled.

“People inside government continue to work on G-Cloud and, whilst it’s not without [some pretty significant] challenges, it’s making progress. Ten years ago when I was at the centre of government, I would have done such a project with some pretty substantial seed funding from HM Treasury and I would have made a strong case for some kind of mandation – I’d have wanted government to get behind whatever the offer was and direct people to use it. That didn’t happen then – cf gateway, DotP etc – and it isn’t going to happen now. The difference now is that departments phone up the G-Cloud team every day looking for opportunities to join up – to save money, reduce risk, speed delivery and get something done. The pressure is on and departments are looking for ways to reduce that pressure.”

Mather says his understanding is that G-Cloud is, amongst other things “aimed at stimulating the widest possible market by lowering the barriers to entry for provision of services (decluttering the commercials as well as taking services as they are rather than with overwhelming government customisation) and so helping smaller businesses gain entry to the government market.

– Architecture neutral. What’s wanted is bare tin at IaaS, a range of suppliers putting capability on top of bare tin at PaaS and true services that are platform agnostic at SaaS. Government is buying services. They want those to be assured services – secure, reliable and performing to service levels…  and so on.”

Can’t really fault Mather’s thinking here – I look forward to what he has to say in the future.

Cloud acquisition heralds hosted services and greater efficiency savings for local government

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Francis Maude tells civil servants: try new things and learn from failure

By Tony Collins

Francis Maude, the Cabinet Office minister who’s in charge of reforming central government, has told MPs that “good organisations learn as much from the things that are tried and do not work as from the things that are tried and do work”.

His comments will give top-level support to those in the public sector who are seeking small budgets to experiment with, say, agile approaches to software development.  The agile principle of failing cheaply and quickly and learning the lessons is unconventional in the public sector.

Appearing before the Public Administration Committee, in its hearing on Good Governance and Civil Service Reform, Maude said:

“You need to have a culture-we do not have this yet-where people are encouraged to try new things in a sensible, controlled way; front up if they have not worked – not have a culture that assumes every failure is culpable, and for every failure there has to be a scapegoat – but actually make sure that if something is tried and does not work: 1) you stop doing it; and 2) you learn from the things that have been tried and what the lessons are.

“I do not think we are good at that … part of the reason for that is the sort of audit culture, where everything has to be accounted for to the nth degree.

“I think we waste a huge amount of time and effort in stopping bad things happening and the result is we stop huge amounts of potentially good things happening as well.”

Maude was critical of the way government takes huge risks on big projects but is hostile to innovation at the micro level. He said: 

“Government tends to be quite prone to take huge macro risks, but then at working level, at micro level, to be very risk averse and hostile to innovation.

“You do not often hear of someone’s career suffering because they preside over an inefficient status quo, but try something new that does not work and that can blot your copybook big time.”

Cabinet Office publication of Phase 2 documents offers insight into Coalition G-Cloud thinking

By David Bicknell

The Cabinet Office has published a series of documents which discuss how the public sector could utilise the Cloud Computing approach to ICT delivery and explore what benefits and challenges this approach would create.

The project, known as Phase 2 of the G-Cloud Programme, features a number of reports which were developed under work strands of the ICT strategy that was published on 27th January 2010. As the Cabinet Office says, they provide a well informed baseline of public sector Cloud thinking from 2009 to early 2010.

While publishing the papers on its website – minus one on information assurance for security reasons – the Cabinet Office says further development of plans for the  adoption of the Cloud Computing approach to ICT and the delivery of cloud based services to the public sector is on-going and will reflect the objectives of the Coalition Government. It adds that  Cloud Computing principles are evolving rapidly and these will be incorporated into this work.