Government calls on industry for standards advice

Jennifer Scott News
25 Jan, 2012

Liam Maxwell, director of ICT futures at the Cabinet Office asks for the industry’s help to set standards for the G-Cloud.

A senior civil servant has asked for the industry to get involved when it comes to setting standards for the Government’s G-Cloud project.

During a keynote at today’s Cloud Expo Europe in London, Liam Maxwell, director of ICT futures at the Cabinet Office, revealed the consultation on open standards to base the G-Cloud on would launch in two weeks.

These standards will focus on software and operability, rather than hardware, and by having set choices, it will allow companies of all sizes to come up with solutions for Government and remove any risk of vendor lock-in in Whitehall.

Maxwell pleaded with the audience to get involved and help drive forward new models of supporting citizens digitally through the use of open standards.

“I need your help,” he said. “All of the stuff I have talked about relies on standards.”

“Right at the core of G-Cloud is use of effective open standards so please, it is coming out the back of the week after next, please contribute to that to make sure it reflects what the industry says.”

The deadline for companies to submit tenders for the first £60 million of funding for the G-Cloud has passed, after several extensions, and Maxwell was pleased with more than 400 bids.

The key drive was to get more small and medium sized businesses (SMBs) involved and he told Virtual Clouds the goal had been achieved.

“Quite a lot of those 400 were SMBs,” he said with a smile. “The key is no more huge 72 page procurement documents to contend with.”

“Also there is more flexibility. Without lengthy contracts, there aren’t any deadlines leaving companies out in the cold for seven years until the latest long contract runs out. The flexibility here is almost as important as the simplified process.”

We will bring you details on where you can contribute to the standards consultation when it launches.

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