GDS Moves To Bring Google Apps To Government

May 02, 2014

The Government Digital Service (GDS) is holding discussions with CESG, the National Authority for Information Assurance, about bringing Google Apps into government.

This follows news that new technology has been trialled with success in a few Whitehall Departments, including the Cabinet Office.

Besides security approval for Google Apps, GDS is also trying to gain acceptance for cloud based collaboration services including Box, Salesforce and Trello.

“We want users to have modern, flexible technology services that are at least as good as those that they use at home,” said GDS in a recent report, echoing government CTO Liam Maxwell’s comments at Think Cloud For Government in March.

“These services will also be cheaper than the services currently in place,” added GDS.

Internet Access Hindered Or Even Non-Existent

However, the same report, a quarterly review of the government’s digital progress, revealed that some civil servants have no Internet access at work.

Those who do have online access often encounter filters that prevent them from using social media and free productivity tools like Google Docs and Trello.

GDS claims that it is working to stop these barriers as they create a significant problem when it comes to building a digital government.

However, an unnamed civil servant spoke to a UK IT publication and claimed that gaining unblocked access is a very difficult process and working across Departments is “almost impossible.”




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