Feeds

Confused, pessimistic on G-Cloud? You must work in government

VMware's ex-G-Cloud man's cure: communication

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

Confusion and pessimism about the government’s G-Cloud and ICT plans is widespread among civil servants running the nation’s technology .

A VMware survey of more than 180 senior public sector IT staff found 63 per cent doubt the Cabinet Office will be able to hit its stated spending goals on cloud computing.

Nearly half of IT staff – 43 per cent – said they couldn’t identify the kind of savings that they might personally achieve from cloud computing.

That government’s stated goal is for 50 per cent of new IT spending to go on public cloud services by 2015, with the cost of government data centres cut by 35 per cent by 2016.

VMware also found that 59 per cent of senior IT staff were undecided on whether to use the G-Cloud’s flagship Cloudstore when the catalogue of services was launched in February – the time of the survey. Thirty-one per cent reckoned they would use Cloudstore.

There’s also uncertainty over whether the G-Cloud framework will deliver on the Cabinet Office’s stated goals of IT cost savings, easier procurement, increased security and the ability to deliver better services to government and citizens.

Almost half (46 per cent) said they are unsure about whether the G-Cloud framework will actually deliver cost savings and along with the other benefits versus 34 per cent who said it would.

The survey did, however, find a strong current of support for the aims and direction of G-Cloud.

Ex-G-Cloud director Andy Tait, who last year stepped down to become VMware’s head of public sector strategy, said the government must do more to work to win this support and overcome scepticism and pessimism using improved communication.

Of course, he might say that: while VMware is not listed in Cloudstore as a supplier, its technologies are available through the Skyscape Cloud Alliance.

To improve the level of communications, Tait said the government must go beyond preaching to the converted through the blogs and Twitter, popular among the Cabinet Office’s cadres, and reach out to government computing types through established channels.

Tait told The Reg: “[The Cabinet Office] needs to get behind some of the clear messages they have made statements about... They need to get behind that at above the board level through the conference network and engage though CIO council, and not just the Twitter network.”

Also, Tait reckoned the government must clarify the rules on security – making it clear what data can go to suppliers overseas and that organisations can use the same service or supplier, rather than simply replicating what another department has done.

“Today you can have 10 organisations looking at the same utility and replicating the work of the analysis. G-Cloud was about how [to] build trust among the individual accounting officers and CIOs in each organisation [so that they will] accept the decisions of similarly responsible individuals in other organisations so we don’t replicate activities,” Tait said.

More case studies and practical examples of government departments and local authorities making the changes are needed, too.

“In many organisations there are individuals struggling with trying to overcome the barrier to adapt to cloud ... it’s about encouraging the bold innovators to stand up those initial services in a way they can be consumed by other parts of the public sector,“ he said.

Many obstacles to adoption include maintaining legacy systems and government being locked into existing, multi-year contracts with IT suppliers.

Despite this, Tait reckons we are on the cusp of a “fundamental change” and that the next year to 18 months will see “an awful lot of movement” and inertia overtaken". He said the biggest hurdle, of bringing hearts and minds to the view that cloud is the right direction, had been overcome. Tait said that it is now simply a matter of speed of adoption by different departments and sections of government. ®

3 Big data security analytics techniques

More from The Register

next story
This time it's 'Personal': new Office 365 sub covers just two devices
Redmond also brings Office into Google's back yard
Kingston DataTraveler MicroDuo: Turn your phone into a 72GB beast
USB-usiness in the front, micro-USB party in the back
AMD's 'Seattle' 64-bit ARM server chips now sampling, set to launch in late 2014
But they won't appear in SeaMicro Fabric Compute Systems anytime soon
Brit boffins use TARDIS to re-route data flows through time and space
'Traffic Assignment and Retiming Dynamics with Inherent Stability' algo can save ISPs big bucks
Microsoft's Nadella: SQL Server 2014 means we're all about data
Adds new big data tools in quest for 'ambient intelligence'
prev story

Whitepapers

Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.