Around 100 services have been deemed “irrelevant” and removed from the UK government cloud services platform, G-Cloud, according to a report from UK tech site V3.
G-Cloud was designed to streamline the IT procurement for government agencies by providing pre-approved services (currently numbering more than 13,000), while also offering smaller cloud service providers a chance to bid on cloud contracts on a level playing field.
A number of suppliers and customers have expressed an opinion that the G-Cloud marketplace had weaknesses such as failing to weed out services that were not cloud services.
Validating these claims, a representative of G-Cloud told V3 that the Government Digital Service (a unit of the UK Government’s Cabinet Office that took over control of G-Cloud in June 2013) has finished a platform review that saw the removal of roughly 100 services that didn’t “fall within the advertised scope of the framework”. The GDS will be conducting continual appraisals of services to make sure they belong on G-Cloud.
It’s unclear whether this quality control measure will help allay the confusion and skepticism that has pervaded the G-Cloud, which is now in its fourth iteration, “G-Cloud 4”, and is approaching G-Cloud 5 as soon as this month.
Late last year, a survey of over 300 councils found that only about 10 percent had used G-Cloud to procure cloud services, and three-quarters couldn’t understand the purpose of G-Cloud.
Globally, the government cloud market is expected to grow from $2.87 billion in 2013 to $18.48 billion in 2018. Government initiatives like G-Cloud in the UK and FedRAMP in the US have attempted to give clear guidelines for service providers, and a central place for government agencies to buy services. The G-Cloud program has been warmly welcomed by IT suppliers, but the challenge for G-Cloud is to continue to make the procurement process easy for government buyers, which means being careful about what services make it into G-Cloud, and instilling confidence that these services are being overseen by knowledgeable bodies.