G-Cloud 'too immature' for Local Government

Central Government might be singing its praises, but the excitement around the G-Cloud hasn't made it out of Whitehall yet.

Local public service providers remain unconvinced about the G-Cloud's prospects, according to a report.

A Society of IT Managers (Socitm) survey of 600 local authorities discovered there was little enthusiasm for central Government's G-Virtual Cloudsject, saying it was "too immature to make a significant impact."

The G-Cloud has been slow in arriving, leading to a lack of excitement amongst local Government bodies, Socitm's Roger Marshall told our sister title IT Pro.

"[G-Cloud] hasn't yet gotten anywhere for our base of users," Marshall said. "It has been slow to emerge."

However, Marshall said big announcements expected later this year could galvanise excitement surrounding the G-Cloud.

"It seemed to have taken a bit of a backseat but that looks set to change this year," he added. "People are much more comfortable with cloud now."

John Serle, the editor of the Socitm IT Trends report, said local bodies were concerned about whether the Government would deliver on its promises.

"When the Government announced its intentions, everyone said 'great,'" Serle added. "But it's much tougher to deliver those things than talk about them."

The G-Cloud has stuttered into life. Announced by the Labour Government in 2010, it looked as though the initiative had come unstuck in the early stages of the Coalition's tenure.

When HP's UK managing director said G-Cloud was to be canned and replaced by straightforward data centre consolidation, it looked as if the initiative was set for the scrapheap.

The Government subsequently refuted the claims and the G-Virtual Cloudsject gained some momentum again in the second half of 2011.

A G-Cloud tender was put out late last year and received so much interest the deadline was extended twice. A website promoting the Government's cloud plans and linking to the G-Cloud strategy was also recently set up.

Nevertheless, the Government was criticised by cloud tsar and Salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff in September for taking too long to get cloud going.

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