G-Cloud service ratings 'more transparent than holiday stars style'

Chris Chant, director of the government's G-cloud initiative for cloud computing, has insisted the service offers vital ratings that were more useful than standard online stars, such as those used by holiday makers on hotel comparison sites.

When government departments use services from the 280 suppliers available in the Cloud Store, they will be able to rate the quality of the service.

Chant, speaking at last week's Public Sector Efficiency Expo in London, said that this ratings system provided transparency to departments looking for quality suppliers at good prices.

"We will have a TripAdvisor style rating, and people can write a report for everyone to see," he said. "Except that the difference is that instead of the best reviews sometimes coming from the suppliers (in holiday terms the hotels), and the worst from their competitors, we can leave that stuff out."

He added: "We want to do this out loud and make it the most transparent thing people have seen."

Chant said this was also the reason that the G-Cloud team members "blog a lot and publicly answer people's questions where we can".

Chant also drew attention to the open, set pricing on the CloudStore, and the benefits it could bring. "As people start vying for business, the cost goes down," he said. "And we see an increase in the quality of the service, because of the ratings."

The CloudStore recently made its first sale, and Chant said he expects take-up to be strong.

"There's a universal dissatisfaction with the status quo of government IT," he said, adding that departments had expressed interest in buying at more current prices, with the faster deployment that the cloud can offer.

Large contracts had been "largely discredited", he said, even if they promised value through large scale purchasing. "They're only cheap until you work out the cost of exit."

The second iteration of the G-Cloud framework and CloudStore will go live in April. In the mean time, the G-Cloud team was helping departments learn about cloud procurement, Chant said, through special days called 'buying camps' and by offering advisors "similar to personal shoppers".

Copyright © 2012 IDG Communications, Inc.

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