G-Cloud Chief Slams Unsupportive Naysayers

Tom Brewster is TechWeek Europe’s Security Correspondent. He has also been named BT Information Security Journalist of the Year in 2012 and 2013.

Some people just don’t get it, says angry G-Cloud chief Denise McDonagh

The head of the G-Cloud initiative has offered a rebuttal to negative claims surrounding the success of the government’s major IT initiative.

Earlier this month, reports emerged claiming much of the spend on the G-Cloud was still going on the usual vendors, rather than SMEs, because most IT expenditure was still taking place outside of the CloudStore and going to the usual vendors.

Critics said that the G-Cloud had not changed anything because, although it was fostering a new way of working, which encouraged smaller vendors, the million pounds of business on the G-Cloud it was only a flea-bite compared with the £16 billion the government spends each year on IT.

“It seems that the government continues to buy from the well known, tier one, suppliers and foreign multi-national businesses and only a fraction of the government’s annual spend on ICT is through the G-Cloud,” said  Tim Foxlow, VP at Attenda, a critical systems provider that is selling through the framework.

Lies, damned lies…

The head of the G-Cloud, Denise McDonagh, said that the G-cloud was significant, and the fact that 75 percent of the spend through that framework was with SMEs was a “positive step”, regardless of the small size of the G-Cloud so far.

“Since we launched it in February, over a million pounds of purchases have been made through the first G-Cloud framework. Some people who don’t really understand the landscape we’re working in may well look at that figure and assume that has had very little impact on the estimated sixteen billion pounds a year that government spends on IT,” McDonagh wrote in a blog post.

“This simply highlights that what they don’t understand is the relationship between £1 spent with a G-Cloud supplier, and £1 spent with one of the 20 corporations responsible for delivering 90 percent of government IT at present. That is why the fact that after only four months of completed data we can clearly see the shift away from the traditional suppliers to the SME’s is such a good thing.

She also slammed suggestions of a drop in interest in supplying to G-Cloud as “just plain wrong”, as there have thus far been 407 expressions of Interest from new suppliers into the second iteration of the framework.

“As I have always said this is only the beginning of the journey, our approach to  propagation will help and guide us all on our way but we’d appreciate it if people weren’t trying to trip us up just as we’re getting into our stride,” she added.

In May, Cabinet minister Francis Maude confirmed the estimated cost of the G-Cloud programme stood at around £4.93 million.

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