Computer Business Review

Tony Singleton to promote G-Cloud to local authorities

by Joe Curtis| 03 July 2014

G-Cloud director has spoken with Socitm to meet local councils’ needs better.

G-Cloud director Tony Singleton has announced plans to make the service more suitable for local authorities as he tries to boost uptake among the wider public sector.

The head of the Government Digital Service (GDS) will undertake joint research with public sector IT body Socitm into how G-Cloud could better serve local authorities, he wrote in a blog post this week.

He wrote: "We need to talk about a wider programme for transforming the way in which the public sector buys digital services.

"I have also been talking to [head of policy] Martin Ferguson from Socitm and [CIO] Tonino Ciuffini from Warwickshire Council about how these frameworks could better meet local authority needs when it comes to digital and cloud services.

"As a first step, we are going to carry out a joint piece of research to establish what those needs are."

The news comes after Socitm derided G-Cloud as a vehicle built for central Government.

Ferguson told CBR: "From a local government point of view, a lot of services on there are not realistic to help local government with what services it delivers."

He was responding to usage figures demonstrating that 26 of 27 county councils spent less than 1% of their collective 2012/13 IT budget on services via G-Cloud, a framework established in 2012 to save public money by opening up IT contract tenders to SMBs.

Despite the framework, the traditional 'Big Six' Government IT suppliers earned a total £4.3bn from public sector IT contracts last year, according to think tank Institute for Government - though the figures are disputed.

Singleton said his team has been visiting local councils across the UK to talk about G-Cloud.

Yesterday the Home Office announced it would become the latest department to use the framework, as it tries to find SMBs to help overhaul its IT infrastructure as it winds down deals with Fujitsu and Atos.

CBR has approached Socitm for comment.

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