Cloud services providers need to do a lot more to address concerns of lack of clarity and poor communication surrounding the government's G-Cloud initiative, if a new survey of public sector buyers by VMware is to be believed.
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Nearly six months after the government first published its G-Cloud strategy, with which it hopes to make savings of £200m per annum through 2015, just 19% felt the plans had been well-communicated to the public sector, and 17% said they did not fully understand the plans because they hadn't bothered to examine them yet.
Buyers were by-and-large sceptical that the government would hit its target of 50% of new IT spending on public cloud services by 2015, with 63% giving the thumbs down. Reasons cited were a need to maintain legacy services; tie-in to existing contracts; security fears and costs, among other things.
A majority of 59% of respondents said they were undecided or did not know whether or not they would use G-Cloud to procure IT services, compared to 31% who said they definitely or probably would.
Approximately 45% felt positive about the plans, and 41% were indifferent or negative, and while respondents were generally clear on what they wanted to get out of the framework - costs, ease of procurement and more choice of services were all cited - 46% were unsure on whether the G-Cloud could actually deliver those benefits. In terms of budgetary savings, 43% could not identify the kind of savings they might make from cloud computing.
VMware's head of public sector strategy Andy Tait said there was still a "big job" ahead in convincing senior decision makers in the public sector to move in a cloudy direction.
"There is a huge incentive for the government if they can overcome these issues; we believe the targets are a drop in the ocean compared ot the potential savings that can be achieved.
"And with budgets under so much pressure and front-line services being affected, we ding it concerning that many actually find the government's targets to be too high," Tait concluded.
The G-Cloud supplier framework includes a number of well-known channel players, including Rackspace, Redstone and Trustmarque.