Organisations Hit Back At G-Cloud Report

Jun 06, 2014

A number of organisations have criticised reports published earlier this week that drew the conclusion that local government “ignores G-Cloud” and “wastes millions” in doing so.

IT firm Bull issued a freedom of information (FOI) request that revealed less than 1% of local authority IT spending was spent via the procurement framework.

The company’s CEO Andrew Carr and Phil Dawson, chief executive of cloud services provider Skyscape, were among commentators who found the information troubling.

However, Socitm, the professional body representing people in public sector IT, has issued a statement that says such reports “show poor understanding of how local councils procure and deploy IT.”

It adds that it does not dispute the data revealed by the FOI request, but must challenge the conclusions drawn.

“G-Cloud is already a useful procurement framework. However it is still in its relative infancy, as is cost effective public cloud provision for use in councils more generally,” claimed Martin Ferguson, head of policy at Socitm, in defence of the service.

The organisation says that analysis based on the information revealed by Bull fails to address a number of important facts, such as many of the services that are key for the day to day running of local government are not available on G-Cloud.

Socitm adds that because the figures only cover the 2012-2013 financial year, they do not take into account any significant “one-off” sales via the framework.

Its statement also addresses the fact that many of the largest local authorities have capable in-house IT facilities which are more cost-effective than procuring any external services.

“It is also the case that the biggest beneficiaries of cloud computing and G-Cloud as a procurement vehicle are likely to be the smaller public service organisations which were not covered in the FOI research carried out by Bull,” claimed Ferguson.

Hampshire Explains Lack Of G-Cloud Spend

The FOI request drew attention to the fact that Hampshire County Council did not spend anything via G-Cloud during 2012-2013. However, as Socitm pointed out, the figures do not take into account large one off spends prior to this.

Jos Creese, head of ICT at the authority, has revealed that his organisation actually had one of the highest G-Cloud spends in 2012, but is no longer buying so much due to cutbacks.

“Hampshire has made and will continue to make significant use of the G-Cloud, supporting its development from the onset and working directly with suppliers and the Cabinet Office,” Creese claimed in an interview with a public sector technology publication.

Cabinet Office “Will Do More”

Speaking to an IT news publication, the Cabinet Office admitted that more needs to be done to encourage G-Cloud usage.

“We know more needs to be done to raise awareness of its potential and encourage use. Only then can organisations benefit from access to the most innovative, cost-effective solutions by a wide range of suppliers and pass these savings on to the taxpayer,” it said.




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