G-Cloud team integrates with GDS to become ‘business as usual’

The G-Cloud team, which has been independently spearheading the government’s flagship public cloud programme, has now integrated with the Government Digital Service (GDS).

Denise McDonagh, the G-Cloud’s director, has stepped down and is taking up a position as CTO at the Home Office.

The news comes shortly after the G-Cloud programme was given an amber/red rating by the Major Projects Authority (MPA), which means that the “successful delivery of the project is in doubt, with major risks or issues apparent in a number of key areas”.

The MPA said that this was largely because departments have not yet fully changed their culture in terms of approach to ICT procurement and there is also lack of appropriate funds and resources.

However, in a blog on the G-Cloud website, McDonagh said that it has always been the intention to move the programme into ‘business as usual’ and now is the ‘natural time for this to happen’.

McDonagh cited the G-Cloud’s successes so far, which include three procurement frameworks, the launch of the new and improved CloudStore, the acceptance of the public cloud first mandate across central government, and sales reaching close to £22 million to the end of April.

As of the 1st of June, the G-Cloud programme is now the responsibility of GDS, which launched the government’s central domain website, GOV.UK, and is also charged with driving the digital agenda across central departments.

“As I’ve said many times, G-Cloud is a real game-changer. I see it as an enabler for efficiency, reform and growth, which closely links it to the principles that underpin the Government Digital Service,” wrote McDonagh.

“I’m confident that GDS will continue to improve G-Cloud, building on our success and providing strong leadership and support for departments as they move towards ever wider adoption of Cloud solutions.”

A Cabinet Office spokesperson told Computerworld UK that GDS is ‘reviewing the capability and level of resources needed’ for G-Cloud and the new team will include a combination of current GDS staff and members of the G-Cloud programme team.

He said: “They will be supported by existing expertise in GDS, from across the commercial, transformation and strategy teams.”

The move may improve the MPA’s risk rating for the G-Cloud programme, given that GDS has more resources available to it and is already working with central government departments to change attitudes and cultures towards emerging technologies.

“What we’ve done is truly groundbreaking. G-Cloud is generating interest from around the world, with many now following our lead. I believe that it is one of the most disruptive changes for good that I’ve seen in my entire career in government IT, and I believe this will forever change the way we commission and use IT in the public sector,” McDonagh wrote in her blog.

“Time after time, the G-Cloud team has shown boundless energy, not taken “no” for an answer, and achieved the seemingly impossible… I am hugely proud to have been part of this team.”

She added: “I can now hand over G-Cloud to GDS, safe in the knowledge that we have started such a groundswell of support and momentum for change that G-Cloud is here to stay and can only continue to spread and evolve, ensuring better, cheaper and more responsive IT in the public sector.”

Copyright © 2013 IDG Communications, Inc.

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