The call was made by Salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff at the company's annual rally, Cloudforce 2011, which was held in London this week.
At a private press lunch Benioff told Microscope he had held a meeting with Francis Maude , the minister for the cabinet office in charge of public sector efficiency, and had told him to head towards the cloud.
Benioff told Maude that the government's reliance on G Cloud would yield few efficiencies. He contrasted the outdated concepts that G Cloud was based on, such as its version of virtualisation, with the progress being made in the US. "It's a few years behind," he said.
In the US, Benioff said, the federal government plans to close half of its data centres in the next few years. (In fact, the figure is 800 data centres by 2015, 40%).
Britain could emulate this by investing in cloud computing, he argued. "My message is: go cloud or die."
Benioff is not against all data centres, however, He announced plans for Salesforce.com to open a UK data centre in 2012. "We should shut all the inefficient data centres," he pointed out.