El Reg headline in 2-5 years time
Gov IT supermarket G-Cloud abandoned as costs pass £15m
G-Gloud doesn't make it to G-Spot.
The British government has published numbers on the cost of G-Cloud and Cloudstore and the savings the public sector ICT procurement framework is expected to make. The government reckons G-Cloud and Cloudstore will cost the taxpayer £4.93m to set up and run, but eventually save £340m. The costs will come out of the budget of …
The G-Cloud if used correctly should reduce government IT spend by virtue of economies of scale. The British Government needs to ensure that most government agencies use the resources provided this will reduce waste and while optimizing and enhancing solution deployment. Administratively a lot of co-ordination will be required to ensure all agencies are kept in the loop
The government’s comments about the savings that can be achieved through the use of G-Cloud and the likely costs of the project need to be taken with a large pinch of salt. It is unclear how they have calculated these figures. Whatever method they have used, it is unlikely that they have factored into their equations the many issues and challenges, which need to be overcome before the G-Cloud can become successful.
One problem it faces is how to manage change. How can government, and the wider public sector, whose procurement process often ends up stalled by bureaucracy and red tape, add, amend or retire services from the catalogue quickly and efficiently? In other words, how can it maintain ‘flexibility for change’? The restraints on public sector pay announced in the recent budget look set to make matters worse, as this elusive flexibility will become even harder to achieve. . This is a significant programme of change that requires strong organisational management skills to ensure benefits, primarily cost and flexibility, are realised.
There will also be problems around cultural readiness, again likely to be made worse by the changes announced in the recent budget. Government may have created a catalogue in the shape of CloudStore that public sector businesses can buy from, but are government agencies prepared for this? After all, these agencies are typically less culturally advanced than businesses in the private sector – and it is debatable whether government users are ready for the kind of transformation that moving to the cloud may bring to interaction with IT systems and services. Again, the way the G-Cloud is currently configured, it is a project that is more likely to lead to escalating cost rather than one to drive efficiencies and financial savings.
by Andrew Carr, sales and marketing director, Bull UK & Ireland
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