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Revamped CloudStore gets the thumbs up from G-Cloud suppliers, but with caveats

We reported on the revelation that the CloudStore is to be replaced by the improved Government Digital Marketplace yesterday, and G-Cloud supplier reaction to that move has been largely positive. There are, however, still some concerns which suppliers have aired.

The CloudStore is apparently being replaced because it’s reaching the limits of the capacity it was designed to deal with, and the new system is a more robust affair which will cope with the expected further increase in traffic that will come in the future.

One of the major concerns G-Cloud suppliers have had with the CloudStore is so-called “cloudwashing,” which refers to vendors who offer no actual cloud services getting themselves onto the system.

And that’s still something of a worry with the Government Digital Marketplace, which will encompass other procurement frameworks alongside G-Cloud – though exactly which frameworks haven’t yet been specified.

Simon Hansford, CTO of Skyscape Cloud Services, told Cloud Pro that the Public Services Network – which provides network infrastructure to the public sector – was a probable partner to join G-Cloud in the Government Digital Marketplace.

However, he noted that the lines between these different frameworks had to be clearly marked out, so there was no continued potential confusion between cloud and non-cloud services.

Hansford said: “Having too many frameworks can be confusing, so bringing it all together in one place is a good idea.”

But he cautioned: “In the same way that it would be confusing if they started selling perfume and men’s shoes alongside each other in a department store, there needs to be clear delineation between types of services, cloud and non-cloud, on the new marketplace.”

Other suppliers broadly agreed, though Katy Ring, IT research director at 451 Research, felt the move to the Government Digital Marketplace smacked of failure – and the fact that the word “cloud” has been dropped from the title is an indication that the CloudStore has failed to live up to expectations.

Ring noted the “very slow growth in usage and low amount of spend going through CloudStore,” and said this was because government IT buyers had failed to grasp “the key differences that CloudStore bestowed in terms of flexibility of usage.”