It appeared to fall off the radar for a while, but the plan for the G Cloud has gone back to the top of the government's IT agenda. The intention to create a formal framework for the public sector procure cloud computing services was first floated in the Journey to Digital government paper in April 2009, remained prominent for a …
Brilliant money saver!
I recently worked with one govt. org that went as far as trying to build their own dedicated data centres out in the provinces. They also incorrectly thought that they could actually build data centres! This turned into yet another failed multi-multi million-pound tax burden for you and me.
So on to a better solution that from all perspectives can* save money.
(* if done correct)
Re: Brilliant money saver
...and is there any evidence whatsoever that government departments are more adept at comissioning things from suppliers than they are in building them themselves?
Suitable for cloud provisioning?
Not only is the linkage to the PSN not clear, neither is the linkage to the the do-it-all web platform (beta.gov.uk or whatever it's called this week)
If the low hanging fruits are commoditised services that don't require much configuration/bespoking for different users, then how about starting with a decent government-wide denial of service mitigation/content delivery network?
Ugh. Here we go again...
"On two occasions I have been asked, 'Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out?' I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question".
Sometimes, it feels like nothing has changed in hundreds of years.
"If we put the word 'cloud' in all of our poorly specified IT requirements documents, and host all our Government data in cloud-cuckoo land to the right of Godknowswhere maintained by the Umpaloompas, will the right answers come out?"
"Yes, of course it will, provided you sign this lengthy and expensive procurement contract. We can fine tune the functional/technical requirements after you've committed yourselves".
Almost.... the infrastructure would have to be audited (ISO Rated) to be able to provide restricted and confidential level document storage, so its not Godknowswhere/Umpaloompas.
The Cabinet Office/HMRC already pay for such a service already from a large supplier, so seems pretty stupid to build their own, its not just a box, you have the failover, resilence, dual location, backup systems, staff, training etc... so it will cost a couple of million just to get it setup, so I'm not seeing any cost saving.
Dipping the toes just sounds like a different supplier has come along and offered a few rounds of biscuits for a slice of action, just in time for Christmas bonus time.
Technology has nothing to do with it
The government didn't think of this themselves, they don't know their arse from their elbow about computy things or clouds so they depend upon 'advice' from 'consultants' and 'think tanks' whose only purpose is to work out ways of moving massive amounts of taxpayers' money from the government to large IT firms and make a bundle while doing it.
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