Time for action

I can now divulge that I worked pro bono between October 2009 and July 2010 as a member of the government’s G-Cloud/Apps Store initiative.

This arose from the Government CIO’s request to Intellect (the IT, telecoms and electronics industries association of which I am a member) to help resource this strategic study. Intellect delivered, and a wide range of industry experts were put to work – many, it should be noted, from companies who had commercial interests to protect.

As an independent advisor I believe I was able to take a broader strategic view.

Although our findings were published this spring, follow-through in Whitehall has been limited. In several of my recent columns, in the form of letters to a fictitious departmental CIO called Tim, I sought to articulate key issues.

The Government ICT Strategy has now been published, Whitehall is moving into a higher gear, and Tim has moved to a private-sector role.

The real life Government CIO, John Suffolk, has also moved on. In his final months in office, I took advantage of a webinar I chaired with John, David Wilde (Westminster Council’s CIO) and the aptly named Andy Macleod (Head of Strategy and Policy at Cisco UK) to test two particular issues.

The first lies at the core of the development of the G-Cloud itself. Is this to be a government-only private cloud, specially built and hidden behind heavily defensive firewalls, or could the government set out to make major use of the competitive economics of fast-developing public clouds?

I believe this second option makes better strategic sense. With an effective exploitation of contemporary security processes and systems, government requirements up to and including security Incident Level (IL) 3 could be serviced from large-scale multi-tenanted data centres designed to simultaneously service public-, private- and consumer-sector business. This could encompass some three quarters or more of the government’s requirements.

1 2 Page 1
Page 1 of 2
7 secrets of successful remote IT teams