Government plans to launch cloud next year

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Government plans to launch cloud next year

Paul Kunert

The Government is creating a blueprint for its private cloud infrastructure and expects to launch across the public sector next year.

Working with 100 IT firms on the architecture dubbed the g-cloud, John Suffolk, Her Majesty's Government CIO told Computer Weekly that he hopes the service will lower IT expenditure.

"We need to look at our budgets to see how we can become more efficient and that is what the cloud is all about," he said, "let's come up with a smarter model to provide the operational service of IT."

Suffolk said the Government will be looking at proprietary and open source software to build a "multi-tenanted" architecture, rather like the salesforce.com infrastructure which enables multiple departments to share the same app.

"We have about 100 people from the industry working with us, designing what we believe the Government cloud will look like at all kinds of levels. And I think it will come to fruition early in the New Year," said Suffolk, adding he expected a full launch later in 2010.

Given the size of the public sector, aspects of the g-cloud are likely to include infrastructure-as-a-service, middleware-as-a-service and software-as-a-service, he added.

Part of the plans is an application store which should give myriad public departments visibility of the software "assets" owned by Government and Suffolk said he was also looking at deploying shared services.

However one issue related to the immaturity of the market is the lack of definition about the cloud model.

"One of the difficulties in the IT industry and cloud at the moment is that many of the suppliers are still announcing their cloud strategy and therefore their cloud technology," he said.

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