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Is the public sector ready for the G Cloud?

The Guardian - The government is planning the first round of procurements under the G Cloud framework, but there are doubts about public authorities being ready to take part.

It appeared to fall off the radar for a while, but the plan for the G Cloud has gone back to the top of the government's IT agenda.

The intention to create a formal framework for the public sector procure cloud computing services was first floated in the Journey to Digital Government paper in April 2009, remained prominent for a while but then slipped into the background, with the Cabinet Office saying little about its progress. A few organisations in local government have taken the leap into cloud services, but speculation grew that the central plan was being shelved.

This was quelled last week, when the department confirmed that it is close to launching a procurement for a short term framework – to last no longer than nine months – for services likely to cover infrastructure, platforms, software and cloud support services. It is very much a 'toe in the water' exercise, with the Cabinet Office aiming set up a longer term framework next year. The question is how many suppliers and public sector customers are ready to test the potential of the G Cloud?