G-Cloud 4 Goes Live With Amazon Web Services

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelance and long standing contributor to TechWeek Europe

The latest iteration of the government’s G-Cloud goes live with Amazon Web Services finally on board

Amazon Web Services (AWS) has finally climbed aboard the Government’s G-Cloud, the fourth iteration of which has now gone live.

AWS has so far been absent from the government cloud framework, which makes it easier for civil servants to locate alternative suppliers of IT and services from amongst the small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) community, but is now part of G-Cloud 4 (G4).

G-Cloud 3, which was launched in May, only had 700 suppliers, but now the government is boasting it has over 1,186 suppliers in the CloudStore catalogue – and 84 percent of these are SMEs. In all, CloudStore now features more than 13,000 services.

AWS Arrival

g-cloud-big-ben-government-westminster-cropFurthermore, the government pointed to the fact that cumulative sales from CloudStore broke the £50 million barrier last month, with 58 percent of the total spend of £53.5 million having gone to SMEs. The aim is to have 50 percent of IT spend go through the framework by 2015.

“Our reforms to government technology are designed to ensure the best possible service for users at the lowest cost for taxpayers,” said Minister for the Cabinet Office Francis Maude. “To make this possible we need a truly competitive marketplace. SMEs are a source of innovation and a crucial engine for growth. We will continue to knock down the barriers that have prevented them from winning public sector work in the past.”

When procuring services, government organisations have been told to look at the G-Cloud first before considering other options. This is mandated for central government and recommended for other public sector bodies.

“We will continue to embed our Cloud First principle in government and recommend it across the wider public sector,” Maude said.

Popular Service?

Earlier this month, Hounslow Borough Council reiterated its support for the G-Cloud, claiming it is helping the borough achieve its ambition of moving much of its IT infrastructure to the cloud by 2015.

Anthony Kemp, director of corporate resources at the London Borough of Hounslow, told TechweekEurope that the G-Cloud had simplified the procurement process, allowing it to focus on services.

The G-Cloud has had its detractors in the past, but its new boss is determined to make the service more accessible and open as possible.

“We are constantly working to improve G-Cloud and the CloudStore, making it more straightforward and less expensive for suppliers wanting to join the marketplace and for public sector customers to purchase the technology they need,” said G-Cloud director Tony Singleton.

Singleton replaced former G-Cloud project leader, Denise McDonagh, back in June.

“For G4, we have fed in valuable intelligence and opinions from buyers and suppliers. But the job of lowering barriers to participation and making the process as easy and open as possible goes on,” Singleton added.

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