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CloudStore search function criticised, and “cloudwashing” still a major issue

It was the second birthday of the CloudStore yesterday, but it wasn’t cake and candles – more like rotten tomatoes and a flamethrower, as the government’s portal for cloud services came in for some heavy criticism from G-Cloud suppliers.

Various suppliers talked to Cloud Pro and chewed over their relative beefs, most of which centred on the fact that the CloudStore is too cluttered, difficult to navigate, and still suffers from “cloudwashing” – vendors who have got on board the framework with non-cloud services.

All of these things basically boil down to one issue – confusion – and the store simply needs to be made easier to understand and use.

Mike Hockey, director of sales and marketing at Roc Technologies, talked to Cloud Pro and said that the search function needs further work: “You can end up with hundreds upon hundreds of listed services, some of which are not very relevant, because all the suppliers just tick all the service option boxes, so the filters in the search function become completely pointless.”

Peter Groucutt, managing director at Databarracks, said: “The issues facing the G-Cloud framework now are the same issues we were facing months ago: Lack of awareness amongst true public sector organisations and an overcrowded CloudStore, including a lot of services that probably shouldn’t be there.”

He advocated a more thorough vetting process for suppliers looking to get on the CloudStore.

However, the discussion wasn’t all negative, and Groucutt added that the framework was previously handled by a small team, and with increased resources, the problems will hopefully be sorted soon enough.

Groucutt noted: “Critics have been quick to judge G-Cloud and write it off... but if we keep pushing forward to drive awareness, the potential for both suppliers and users is huge.”

Groaning under the increasing demand for services, the CloudStore is set to be revamped as the “Government Digital Marketplace” in the future, and you would hope that move will bring many further improvements along with it.