The suppliers selected as part of the government’s G-Cloud framework will be named on Sunday 19 February, with the associated catalogue of services, called CloudStore, also expected to go live in the next week.
The G-Cloud framework will be worth £60m and includes infrastructure-as-a-service, platform-as-a-service, software-as-a-service and specialist cloud services. It is expected to reduce government IT expenditure on business applications by up to 75% as departments move to on-demand services. Pricing transparency was a pre-requisite for suppliers seeking to be part of the framework agreement, and government IT buyers will be able to compare prices from every accredited supplier.
Suppliers were notified of their framework award at the beginning of February but asked to refrain from issuing a public notice until 19 February.
The cloud services will appear on the government’s CloudStore, which will act as a portal for buyers to browse approved cloud services, and will be made accessible through the GOV.UK website. The store itself is to be hosted in the cloud by a UK SME.
Initially the portal will act as a catalogue of services rather than an app store for plug-and-play products, as many of those services won’t be accredited until departments sign up for them.
It is hoped the majority of accredited services will be available on the framework by early April. A second framework will be available in the Spring, designed to broaden the number of cloud suppliers offering government services.
The pan-government accreditation process is expected to provide security assurance up to a certain point, with departments needing to provide an additional layer of accreditation for services used in conjunction with existing systems, according to Whitehall sources close to the programme.
However, it is hoped the process will cut down the lengthy procedure of departments having to accredit the same services from scratch multiple times.
The Government Digital Service will be an early adopter for a cloud ERP system, while the Home Office expects to be running hosting capabilities and collaboration software from the framework by Spring.