The G-Cloud framework has been held up by the UK government as a model the world should follow as it hosts its first D5 – Digital Five – summit.
D5 is a group which consists of the five most digital-savvy governments in the world – the UK, Estonia, South Korea, New Zealand and Israel. The quintet teamed up for the first-ever D5 summit, which was held in London this week, at which they each signed a charter pledging to share best practices when it comes to digitalising governments.
Speaking at the Tech City event, Cabinet Office minister and digital cheerleader Francis Maude boasted of the success the government has had in digital so far, partly due to G Cloud.
"Before the last general election Whitehall was procuring systems before they had even been designed – or over such a long period of time that the technology was out of date before it was delivered," he admitted during a speech at the event. "Inevitably many of those projects ran over time or over budget. Part of the problem was that we were almost completely reliant on a small group of suppliers.
"[So] first we introduced red lines for IT procurement which we're pretty militant about enforcing: no hosting contracts should last longer than two years; no IT contracts should be over £100m; there should be no automatic extensions of contracts; and we should separate service provision and service integration by one company within the same contract.
"Second, we created the G-Cloud and then the Digital Marketplace, where the public sector can purchase IT solutions off the shelf from various suppliers, without being bound into long contracts. More than half of the business to date has gone to SMBs."
In the G-Cloud December update blog, the framework's director Tony Singleton agreed that G-Cloud should be shown off globally.
"The framework has been praised for leading other European countries when it comes to transforming the way government uses cloud services," he said. "Vivek Kundra, the ex-White House CIO, believes that an open market framework like this could be the new model for how governments across the world procure IT and technology.
"[The D5 event] was the first summit of a new global network of some of the most digitally advanced governments in the world. At a session on open markets, one of the issues discussed was how this framework model could be adopted outside the UK."
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