The government has invited suppliers to bid for a £60m framework agreement to provide the G-Cloud - the public sector-wide cloud infrastructure that will support Whitehall's cost-cutting IT strategy.
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The tender document, released through the Government Procurement Service website, says the contracts will be divided into four lots, covering infrastructure as a service, platform as a service, software as a service, and specialist cloud services.
The tender details that are publicly available reveal little about the requirements for the G-Cloud, but further details are expected to be part of the implementation plan for the wider government IT strategy, which is expected to be released this week.
G-Cloud applications are expected to save significant amounts of money for departments and local authorities, creating a shift away from bespoke IT services to a pay-per-use model.
The delivery partners in the initial trialling of government cloud services will include the Home Office, Department for Education, the British Council, Ordinance Survey, and Warwickshire County Council.
Huddle, FCO Services, Memset and Salesforce.com are among the suppliers who will be involved in cloud trials, with Google already testing cloud-based e-mail at Warwickshire County Council.