Home Office adopts G-Cloud, wants SMB involvement from 2016

The Home Office has become the latest in a number of government departments to move its IT procurement over to G-Cloud in a move that further limits the link between large IT contracts and Whitehall.

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Under the new plan, the Home Office will no longer spend money on large-scale outsourcing contracts and instead plans to use the G-Cloud service to work with small and medium sized businesses [SMBs] from 2016.

Reset4 is the name that has been given to the transformation project that is being rolled out and Denise McDonagh, Home Office CTO, stated that the department “will look different to the way it looks today” by 2020.

“Reset4 was established to change the way we build, procure and manage our IT to ensure we can deliver the high-quality responsive service the Home Office needs,” McDonagh said, according to Cloud Pro. "Between now and 2016, we will move away from being locked into massive end-to-end contracts, or tied to particular technologies, to a model in which we have far greater flexibility to change our IT in response to changing needs,”

It ties in with the expiration in 2016 of two major contracts, with Fujitsu and Atos, that supply the Home Office technology and they won’t be renewed. This is something that McDonagh hopes will encourage SMBs to get involved with the Home Office and during the webcast she repeatedly mentioned the importance of the G-Cloud platform in helping SMBs work with Whitehall departments.

The Home Office currently spends approximately £350 million on IT procurement annually, not including its subdivisions such as police and emergency services, and the department’s technology is being separated into four distinct areas after the major contracts end in 2016. These are: end user computing, hosting and systems, networks and service integration.

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Despite all the government proclamations over G-Cloud, there has been a litany of criticisms of the service that range from unrealistic targets to doubts about the implementation of a new ratings system.