Nicky’s blog reminded me just how far we’ve come.
It’s hard to believe that seven years ago there were only 230 suppliers listed on G-Cloud – and now we’re in the thousands. Or that total spend is now creeping towards £5 billion. That’s a far cry from where it all began back in 2011.
And to think that UKCloud started around the same time as G-Cloud. Born through a shared vision to enable the UK public sector to harness the potential of cloud – to drive agility, innovation, cost savings – by opening-up the public sector IT market from the ‘oligopoly’ to creative SMEs.
And reflecting on how G-Cloud has gone from strength to strength, culminating in the latest iteration, G-Cloud 11 reminded me of our own journey, our own evolution.
Back in 2011, the prospect of cloud in the public sector was dismissed by many as a passing fad. None of the established service providers wanted to bet on cloud. Leaving plenty of opportunity for SMEs like ourselves, Memset, Eduserve and RedCentric to create cloud services that could be procured through G-Cloud.
Our approach was to build an ecosystem – first we needed a platform – but we also needed a community of SaaS solution providers to help give our customers choice and variety.
By focusing all our resources on building the platform we were able to achieve scale, and able to invest in innovations that have enabled us to adapt and stay relevant to the changing needs of the public sector.
Today, the market is very different. Cloud has become the new normal. Yet for many public sector organisations cloud penetration remains woefully low. They lack the required resources to adopt, whilst others only turn to cloud for greenfield projects; leaving their legacy IT systems to sit on inefficient and expensive environments.
The recent investment we’ve taken from Digital Alpha is already starting to bear fruit. Today, in G-Cloud 11, UKCloud has further expanded our prominence in the digital marketplace with a range of new and improved services – including services designed to help resource strapped public sector organisations benefit from adopting cloud services.
Our partnership with Cisco is enabling us to become much more relevant to existing IT environments – and we now have the platforms and people in place to challenge the wasteful, inflexible nature of legacy IT.
And looking ahead, we’ve announced a range of services that will help our customers operate effectively in a world of many clouds. We have a Cost Optimisation Service based on CloudHealth technology from VMware – helping our customers take back control of “runaway cloud” (where cloud services begin to cost much more than anticipated). We have Cyber Security services such as our CloudSOC (powered by e2e Assure), CyberScore (in partnership with XQ Cyber) and Keyless encryption (from HyTrust) which helps our customers stay one step ahead of developing cyber risks. Not only that, we’re also industrialising the tooling we use internally, such as Artificial Intelligence Operations (powered by Moogsoft), which helps our customers develop their IT operating model to become more agile, more automated, and to scale more effectively.
G-Cloud 11 reminds me just how far we’ve come, and it has inspired me to share our story of what’s worked and what’s not. There are many public sector organisations that are just setting out on the journey that we’ve been on – so there is an opportunity for us all to share our experiences and to help them avoid some of the potholes along the way. In that way, we can all have a role to play in making digital transformation happen.
Watch this space.
More information about our investment from Digital Alpha is available here.