Headlines: February 21st, 2012

The Cabinet Office has announced a deal with IT suppliers that gives all public sector organisations access to cloud based IT services. The G-Cloud framework is set to revolutionise the purchasing, management and delivery of public sector IT services.

CloudStore, the online appstore, offers the public sector a cheaper, quicker and more transparent way to procure the services they need, including email, word processing, system hosting, enterprise resource planning, electronic records management, customer relationship management or office productivity applications.

Public sector organisations will be able to purchase “off-the-shelf” IT services from CloudStore on a “pay-as-you-go” basis rather than having to develop their own systems. Benefit will come in the form of lower costs, reduced procurement times, a simplified tendering process, and a genuinely competitive marketplace.

CloudStore offers public sector bodies a range of the best industry IT services and solutions off the shelf. It provides the flexibility to change service provider easily without lengthy procurement and implementation cycles or being locked in to long contracts It also provides the freedom to quickly adopt solutions that are better value and more up to date.

For this first tranche of the G-Cloud service catalogue, the Government received bids from nearly 300 suppliers, offering a total of around 1,700 services, which are going through a process of assurance and accreditation.

To encourage competition and ensure transparency, service details and pricing information are open to all on CloudStore, allowing buyers to compare services and suppliers and make fully informed purchasing decisions; and contracts should be no longer than a year.

For suppliers not yet on the G-Cloud, it is planned to re-open the framework to applications from new suppliers and products in the spring.