Government Launches CloudStore Part Deux

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CloudStore 2 goes live with some additional functionality

The second iteration of the G-Cloud’s procurement store has opened for business, promising “more functionality”.

The second CloudStore was hit by a number of delays but has now landed and government departments will now be able to benefit from free form search, providing a Google-like search capability for data within the service, along with the ability to filter certain attributes.

Users will also be able to compare services and standard configuration prices side by side.

Vendors will now be able to alter their CloudStore entries directly on the site, whilst payments should be “quicker and easier”, according to those running the G-Cloud.

“We hope you’ll find this iteration an improvement, but as with everything on G-Cloud it’s an iteration and we want to make sure it works for you,” the G-Cloud team said in a blog post, adding that it was hungry for feedback.

“In the meantime we’re going to focus on improving access to the CloudStore catalogue data so others can create stores tailored to different audiences and look at  putting in place ratings and reviews so customers can tell others what they think about the quality of different services. We’re also making sure that the next round of G-Cloud procurement is open by the end of the month so all those suppliers who want to get on to the store can do.”

Doubters

Despite the positive strides the G-Cloud has made, a survey from VMware this week found that many public sector IT leaders were not convinced by the government’s cloud computing efforts. Nearly two-thirds of the 180 senior public sector IT staff surveyed were not convinced the government would be able to get 50 percent of new IT spending done over the cloud by 2015.

Over half said they were undecided on whether they would use the CloudStore to procure IT services.

“We applaud the government for its ‘cloud first’ strategy, but clearly there’s still a big job ahead in convincing senior IT decision makers in the wider public sector to move towards the cloud,” said Andy Tait, head of public sector strategy at VMware and former deputy G-Cloud director.

“We believe the government’s targets are a drop in the ocean compared to the potential savings that can be achieved through cloud computing. And with budgets under so much pressure and front-line services being affected, we find it concerning that many in the public sector actually find the government’s targets to be too high.”

Earlier this week, it emerged the G-Cloud was to get a G-Hosting brother for those (mostly legacy) systems with “complex hosting requirements”.

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