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New policy to make G-Cloud default first choice of Whitehall

Starting this year, all UK central government departments must prioritise public cloud services while initiating new IT projects, according to a new 'cloud first' policy awaiting parliamentary backing.

The new policy is specifically designed to assist the UK government achieve its target of redirecting at least half of all future IT spending to public cloud services by 2015. It is estimated that by embracing cloud service while embarking on new IT projects, the government can effectively reduce the existing cost of IT provisions by at least 50 per cent.

A similar policy was initiated by the US government in 2010, under which it was proposed that 25 per cent of all federal IT spending be channelled into cloud computing services in a bid to achieve cost reduction and maximum efficiency.

The hint that the UK government was keen on eventually introducing a 'cloud first' mandate was first revealed by G-Cloud programme director Denise McDonagh at last year's Business Cloud Summit in London.

However, McDonagh has since revealed that Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude is currently evaluating the proposed "Public Cloud First" mandate. Despite no timescale being specified yet for the implementation of the proposed policy, McDonagh appears confident about having the necessary backing for the move.

"There is a general acceptance that we should be doing a Public Cloud First policy," she said.

"There is a paper on Public Cloud First policy, which is with Francis Maude and will go to one of the next Cabinet committees to endorse," McDonagh added.