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Ireland Seeking Its Own G-Cloud Framework

The Irish government is seeking to build its own cloud procurement framework similar to the UK’s G-Cloud.

A request for tenders (RFT) on Ireland’s e-tender site has revealed the country’s government is aiming to establish a “Government Cloud Service Catalogue” (GCSC).

According to the notice, the framework agreement is intended to be available to a wide range of organisation unit sizes in public service, just as G-Cloud is.

The framework is expected to run for two years with the option to extend twice for 12-month periods and no further tender stages.

The contract is predicted to be worth between €1m and €10m.

It is divided into 33 lots and potential bidders are able to bid for multiple lots.

Differences between G-Cloud and GCSC

In a guest blog on a UK IT publication, former Irish government CIO Bill McCluggage expressed that he believes there will be some key differences between the UK and Irish cloud procurement frameworks.

McCluggage is also a former Cabinet Office CIO and currently holds the position of managing director of Laganview Associates, a company focused on support sales and business development in the public sector.

“While the intent is somewhat similar, delivery of commodity cloud-based ICT services at the most competitive price, there are several significant differences between the design of the Irish GCSC and the UK’s G-Cloud,” claims McCluggage.

One such detail is that GCSC intends to describe categories in “clear business language” rather than classic cloud terminology such as SaaS, PaaS and IaaS.

The Repbulic’s catalogue will also have “service access levels.” These will distinguish whether a service is connected directly to the Irish Government Network or deliver across an Internet connection.

Service access levels will also establish whether how management of a network is achieved and how data residency and multi-tenancy is handled.

McCluggage also notes that steps have been taken to reduce “cloud washing” – that is, vendors attempting to rebrand products with the word “cloud” to draw more attention to it.

“Given the maximum length of the potential framework (four years) and the likelihood that cloud computing technology will have significantly changed during its lifetime, it worth noting the service enhancement mechanism which should permit agreed changes to service descriptions during the lifetime of the framework as long they comply with certain rules,” he claims.


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