https://gds.blog.gov.uk/2013/02/19/cloud-journey-begun/

The journey in the Cloud has just begun

A year ago today we launched the first G-Cloud framework and started the journey to provide a new way for the public sector to commission and buy technology-based services. And what a journey it’s been.

We didn’t know a year ago just how many suppliers or services the framework would attract, nor exactly how it would be used. We just knew that there was a strong demand for doing things differently, which meant there was a great opportunity available to us in government.

Now, with nearly 460 suppliers providing over 3,200 services, and a growing number of eager and committed buyers across the public sector, we’re seeing the framework becoming established as a way of doing business with technology.

Help us make G-Cloud better

We now have to build on the success of this first year, strengthen our processes, and continue to push boundaries. To do so, it’s vital that we listen to (and act on) your input as we improve and iterate the service.

We want to make the process of supplying and buying even easier, and that’s why we’ve started work on a new CloudStore, one that will be much more intuitive and user friendly. It’s also why we’re working on a new website, with clearer guidance, support and access to case studies and other resources. We want to make it much easier to find out who’s doing what, so we can build on things that work and share our learning and experiences.

As we release those updates, your feedback will be vital. Tell us what works, and what doesn’t, and help us to keep making G-Cloud better.

Thank you

There are undoubtedly some great challenges ahead, but we believe that with your continued support we can make the second year even better than the first. Our goal is to make a real difference to the way the public sector uses and delivers the technology needed to deliver a 21st-century service infrastructure for the UK.

We’re immensely grateful for all the work and enthusiasm we’ve seen from suppliers, and for the passion and drive from the public sector staff who have understood the benefits of G-Cloud and who are committed to making it work. Quite simply, we couldn’t have got this far without that support, so I’d like to say a huge thank you from the team to all who’ve put so much in – and keep working at it!

4 comments

  1. Chris Chant

    I second your thanks to suppliers and buyers, there has been great work and commitment from both groups.

    We shouldn’t miss out the G-Cloud team though, buyers and suppliers alike will know they have been busting there arses from dawn to dusk to deliver the fantastic solution they have engineered.

    Back in the summer of 2011 I and the Government CIO presented the G-Cloud progress and plans to the Cabinet Office Board, including Gus O’Donnell (never know what title to give him as he gets new ones so often) the boards non execs, Ian Watmore and Jeremy Hayward. The main risk was lack of funding for the team. All present agreed, with Bruce Mann (CO FD) listening, that it was essential that the programme get the funding it needs as soon as possible. Lord Browne in particular was vociferous in support saying there should be no further delay. Notwithstanding this and countless requests through Cabinet Office process, to my knowledge G-Cloud is still woefully underfunded and resourced and it’s members still flogging away evenings and weekends to maintain the excellent service buyers and suppliers have enjoyed. If it wasn’t for this the programme would have floundered.

    Mike B has brilliantly got the funding GDS need to develop their outstanding product Had they had the same proportion of funding G-Cloud have had, we would still be looking at an Alpha.

    So enough thanks and words from you and Francis. Its time to get your hand in the CO FD’s pocket, now and get this key programme funded somehow or all the great stuff that you want to do at low cost and high speed will stall and the very people on who’s backs G-Clouds success has been built will go somewhere their talents will be appreciated.

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  2. Kahootz (@Kahootz)

    Now you’ve shown the way on how public sector procurement can be done, you realise there’s no going back!

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  3. Eoin Jennings

    I would echo what Chris has said. As a potential supplier to Gcloud (I say potential as we have not contracted anything through it yet, though we have participated since Gcloud 1), I would say that rarely in government IT has so much been achieved in such a short space of time due to the dedication of a relatively small number of people. That is often the case with ground breaking initiatives. At this point, however, it needs considerably more muscle to drive it forward to be the engine of innovation that government is seeking rather than an interesting experiment with relatively little impact. The other aspect that needs thinking about is the degree to which government needs to maintain its own independent security accreditation for commercial grade stuff (ie IL2 and below). This adds a delay and complexity in accrediting services which already meet approved standards such as ISO and adds considerable cost and time for small and large companies a like without achieving very much at all by way of improved security.

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