G-Cloud is more than a framework

Written by Peter Groucutt on 24 February 2015 in Opinion
Opinion

The G-Cloud framework must not lose sight of its core messaging when it comes to driving good cloud policies and practices, according to Peter Groucutt.

In early February the G-Cloud framework announced the launch of its sixth iteration, and with the latest figures revealing that total sales have now passed £430m, this demonstrates how far the initiative has come since its launch almost three years go. 

Central to G-Cloud's success has been its ability to learn from its mistakes. 

When the Government Digital Service (GDS) took over the framework one of the most significant measures was to move G-Cloud from the CloudStore to the Digital Marketplace. In doing so, it drastically improved the search functionality and simplified the application process for suppliers. 

While these changes have been widely welcomed, Groucutt expresses concern at accusations the project may be losing some of its original vision and ultimately being swept up into a wider digital portfolio.

If users are to truly reap the benefits the framework must retain its cloud-first culture. There are concerns in the industry that G-Cloud is being pushed to one side, which was brought to light in a recent anonymous blog post from an ex-G-Cloud team member, who gave a damning report on the state of the framework. 

The seemingly small act of merging the @G_CLOUD_UK Twitter account into @GOVUKDigimkt caused uproar, with the blogger saying that no one from the original G-Cloud team remained on the project and that the principles which it stood for are being diluted in GDS. 

Another concern has been the government data showing that while G-Cloud spending has gone up, the percentage of business going through SMBs is actually going down.”

However, I am confident that there is still enough passion behind the project to keep pushing it forward in 2015.

G-Cloud represents so much more than just a marketplace for businesses to display their products, it’s about driving change in the industry, giving SMEs a chance to be heard, and promoting cloud-first policies within the public sector. 

At the recent Think Cloud event, both Sarah Hurrell, commercial director of technology at the Crown Commercial Service and Tony Singleton, director of G-Cloud, were quick to defend the framework and assure critics that recent rumours of G-Cloud being pushed aside are completely unfounded. 

We’ll have to wait and see whether they stay true to their word, but after all the progress that has been made so far, I for one hope they do.

G-Cloud 6, is without a doubt a step in the right direction, which is what everyone wants to see. However, it is important that as we progress we don’t forget why G-Cloud was created in the first place. G-Cloud is not simply an online catalogue, it is an ideology and one that needs to remain central to its future.

Peter Groucutt, is managing director of disaster recovery provider Databarracks

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