Government cloud project is ‘re-energised G-Cloud’

IT Pro learns the Government cloud programme is a "re-energised" G-Cloud, indicating the Labour-initiated project is no more.

Cloud computing

The Government has indicated the G-Cloud project is indeed dead at least to some extent.

The Government will be taking the lessons learnt from the G-Cloud project and putting them into a reinvigorated initiative.

"The Government's cloud computing programme is a re-energised G-Cloud programme, that builds on the work delivered to date," Keith Roberts, ministerial business advisor for Government ICT in the Cabinet Office, told IT Pro.

The G-Cloud was one of the Labour Government's big IT plays announced in early 2010. It's chief aims were to save significant amounts of money and link up different departments' IT systems.

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Cloud confusion

There has been plenty of confusion around whether the project would continue under the Coalition.

However, the comments from Roberts would appear to justify at least some of the words of HP's UK managing director Nick Wilson, who told this publication the G-Cloud project had been ditched.

"They've canned the project," Wilson said in early June.

"They thought cloud was a bit too much nirvana, so in the short term, the projects that are being looked at are datacentre consolidation."

In response to Wilson's comments, the Cabinet Office said the Government still had cloud computing plans, without referring to the G-Cloud by name.

Suspicions the G-Cloud's demise arose when minister for the Cabinet Office, Francis Maude, did not mention the G-Cloud in his Government IT strategy outlined in March.

The UK Government is missing a real opportunity to be a world leader in public sector IT.

The ICT Strategy did commit the Government to publishing a cloud strategy by September 2011, however, so more details should come out soon.

Earlier this month, it emerged Ministry of Justice chief information officer Andy Nelson had been put in charge of the Government's charge to the cloud.

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Adoption years away?

A recent Freedom of Information (FOI) request from HCL Technologies, put in by Lewis PR, revealed only the Home Office and the Department for Work and Pensions have so far adopted cloud.

Six of the 25 responding ministerial departments, including the Treasury, said they had no plans to head to the cloud at all.

Bindi Bhullar, director of HCL Technologies, said adoption in many Government departments could take "the best part of a decade."

"This information highlights that the UK Government is missing a real opportunity to be a world leader in public sector IT," he added.

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