Mastodon Kuan0: G-Cloud Programme & Major Projects Authority review

Thursday 30 May 2013

G-Cloud Programme & Major Projects Authority review

The UK G-Cloud programme had an 'Amber/red' rating, according to this article. The article was about the recent report by the Major Projects Authority on the performance of key UK government projects (Government's Major Projects Portfolio, aka GMPP).

But the G-Cloud team has clarified that 'G-Cloud was rated as amber/green for delivery and amber/red for funding'. It would still be helpful, however, to have more info on exactly what's meant by 'for funding'? And if there are different ratings for delivery and funding, why not provide info on both for all projects reviewed?

Also, here's the link to more detailed info about the 5 Cabinet Office projects (Public Services Network Programme,  National Cyber Security Programme, National Citizen Service, Electoral Registration Transformation Programme and G-Cloud Programme), from which I've extracted just the part about G-Cloud, below, slightly expanded for clarity. I'm posting it because neither that article nor the MPA's report, which is stated to be based on the GMPP position as at quarter 2 2012/13 (June-September 2012), seems to link to the detailed data, although the article quotes some of it. And here's a link to all the Major Projects data.

Project name

G-Cloud Programme (covers Data Centre Consolidation and Application Store)


Cabinet Office

MPA RAG rating

(A Delivery Confidence Assessment of the project at a fixed point in time, using a five-point scale, Red – Amber/Red – Amber – Amber/Green – Green; the RAG definitions are explained in the MPA Annual Report)

Description / aims

Implementing the Government Cloud, CloudStore (formerly the Applications Store) and rationalising the number of data centres (programme now known as Hosting Services Consolidation) in order to deliver financial savings. Achieved by the delivery of the following action identified in the Government ICT Strategy published in March 2011:
* Create a online Applications Store by April 2012
* Reduce the cost of data centres across the Government estate leading to a 35% reduction in costs over 5 years. Produce a plan by October 2011
* Publish a Cloud Computing Strategy by October 2011

Departmental narrative, actions on Delivery Confidence Assessment

The Programme has delivered a viable CloudStore supported by an ambitious procurement framework. It has marketed this across a wide range of ICT vendors and the public sector. The concept has clearly generated an enthusiastic response from suppliers, particularly SMEs, that have not previously had access to government. In the last couple of months G-Cloud has started to see exponential growth in sales and anecdotal evidence suggests that it has driven considerable levels of savings through transparent pricing.

The Programme still has a significant number of challenges to overcome to reach its stated savings objectives and its aspiration to fundamentally change central government ICT buying behaviours. In particular, departments have yet to fully change their culture in terms of approach to ICT as old ways of doing things are so deeply engrained. Key to this is a reshaping of the Programme to focus on the commercial aspects of the CloudStore as a retail proposition, improving the user experience and engaging the buying community more directly in the objectives of the programme. Crucial to large scale take-up will be working with departments and the Cabinet Office spending controls team to enforce use of the CloudStore across central government.

Scaling G-Cloud has been difficult to achieve to date due to the team’s focus on the start up activities and the lack of appropriate funds and resources.

Project - start date


Project - end date


Departmental narrative on schedule, including any deviation from planned schedule


2012/13 Budget (£million)


2012/13 Forecast (£million)


Total budgeted whole life costs (£million)
(including non-government costs)


Departmental narrative on budget/forecast variance for 2012/13
(if variance is more than 5%)

To date the G-Cloud Programme has made considerable progress despite limited resources. The challenge now is to fundamentally change government IT buying behaviours and key to this is reshaping the programme to focus on the commercial aspects of the cloudstore as a retail proposition, improving the user experience and engaging the buying community. A commercial business case is being drafted to release funds and headcount to reach the ambitious cultural and financial objectives.

Departmental narrative on budgeted whole life costs

No formal budget has been agreed for the G-Cloud Programme. Initial business case completed in 2011 suggested a budget of £4.93m.

(Also, here's more about the MPA report generally.)