Government encourages departments to ‘take a risk’ on G-Cloud amid slow uptake

Speaking at the Think G-Cloud event in London, the Home Office chief technology officer and former head of G-Cloud, Denise McDonagh, said that misunderstanding of G-Cloud is at the heart of its uptake issues.

"They have to think more seriously about G-Cloud," she said at the event attended by V3. "People will be expected to make cloud adoption plans in central government. G-Cloud is not the root of everything, but you do have to at least test it first."

The service aims to level the playing field for SMEs offering IT services to government departments. Most recent figures show that in the year up until the end of April, just £22 million was spent on the scheme's buying website, CloudStore, with 62 percent of that figure going to SMEs.

"I am bedevilled by central government's processes," she continued. "There isn't a willingness to understand that we do things differently."
McDonagh, who was honoured with a CBE this week for services to IT, directed criticism of G-Cloud's slow uptake to way in which the service was launched.

"We've been under the GDS [Government Digital Service] mantra of ‘get out there quick, fail quick and sort it out'. When we put out CloudStore we knew it wasn't brilliant, but we have made significant strides. But there's still a bit more to do," he said.

She also encouraged government departments to ‘take a risk' with buying services using G-Cloud. "It's about experimenting," she said. "Once you buy something you're not locked in like you would have been. You can buy something for a matter of months. "

G-Cloud now falls under the banner of GDS, with Tony Singleton taking McDonagh's role at the helm of the scheme.