G-Cloud can become the public sector’s Amazon

The G-Cloud programme has the potential to be “as good as an eBay or Amazon for the public sector”, according to former G-Cloud director Denise McDonagh, but buying behaviour must change as uncertainty around using the cloud is still holding the public sector back from accessing its full benefits.

Jun 27, 2013
By Paul Jacques
Picture: South Central Ambulance Service

The G-Cloud programme has the potential to be “as good as an eBay or Amazon for the public sector”, according to former G-Cloud director Denise McDonagh, but buying behaviour must change as uncertainty around using the cloud is still holding the public sector back from accessing its full benefits.

Ms McDonagh, who is now the Home Office’s chief technology officer, suggested that one way to boost the adoption of G-Cloud would be to introduce “a champion in each of the departments who understands not just how to buy through the CloudStore but also strategically how to fit it into their bigger IT picture”.

In her opening keynote speech at last week’s ‘Think G-Cloud 2013’ conference in London, Ms McDonagh said that the programme has made it easier for public sector buyers to buy cloud IT services and provided new suppliers with an easier route into selling to government. However, she said the programme was still being held back by risk concerns and uncertainty about how to use the cloud.

The G-Cloud framework has come under fire in recent months with the Government admitting the service was still underused, despite having been available for more than a year, with spending only a little more than £20 million.

Ms McDonagh, who was appointed CBE in the Birthday Honours for services to IT, with projects ranging from DEFRA to the Home Office, suggested that those considering using the cloud should test and try services before buying, take advantage of the relative lack of contractual lock-in, disaggregate services and focus on any big contracts due to come to an end as these were “the intervention points” where moving to new ways of working could be considered.

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