Senior delegates at SCC’s G-Cloud in Practice conference have been told that the public sector faces a very real opportunity to make significant cost savings, improve front line public services and help reinvigorate the UK economy.

The audience of senior public sector executives, CTO’s and CIOs at last week’s inaugural London event heard a range of speakers including Cloud Industry Forum chairman Dr Richard Sykes and NHS England’s Beverley Bryant outline the key benefits they expect the G-Cloud programme to deliver. In addition to providing solutions to a range of legacy issues, attendees heard that the Government Digital Service (GDS) plans for 25% of central government spending to go to SMEs by 2015.

“The primary message to come out of the event was that there is broad consensus that traditional, siloed approaches to public ICT have proved over complex, expensive and ultimately unsuccessful. That’s paired with a growing appreciation that G-Cloud presents the opportunity to share costs and engage services on a Pay-as-you-Go basis, offering not only a significant opportunity to save substantial sums of money, but also to enable a renewed focus on improving the delivery of front line services,” said SCC Public Sector Sales Director Guy Hodges.

“It also became clear that a key point to remember is that G-Cloud is not about cutting costs by reducing headcounts. It’s about slashing the time and resource invested in maintaining ICT infrastructures in order to enable existing teams to focus on core operational issues rather than technical housekeeping.”

Delegates were talked through some of the innovative solutions already being deployed across the public sector by FutureGov’s Carrie Bishop and Alliantist CEO Mark Darby. The presentations also demonstrated how, as IT has matured, it is no longer necessary for civic bodies to sustain high levels of investment in core infrastructure.

SCC’s Public Sector CTO Rhys Sharp also demonstrated how with technology’s evolution continuing at speed, organisations need to adopt flexible architectures capable of supporting rapid change and deployment of the latest solutions virtually on demand.

From the public sector speakers on the day, the audience learned that cost cutting is not the only factor at play. For them one of the primary drivers behind the push for cloud adoption is that ultimately, its main focus is on accessing some of the most critical skills in British industry to become better at delivering key services.

Beverley Bryant, Director of Strategic Systems and Technology at NHS England, commented: “In order to improve healthcare in the NHS we’ve got a big drive and imperative to improve the use of technology for joining up patient records and making the organisation easier to use. In the way we actually deliver that I see G-Cloud as a great enabler.

“NHS organisations need to know how to buy these technologies … what the G-Cloud framework offers is a much quicker and flexible way to get hold of the services they want to use.”

SCC’s Public Sector Director Tracy Westall added: “One of the issues that came over very clearly at the conference was Cloud’s potential to have a positive impact upon the bigger picture. Ultimately we are creating an ecosystem where rather than engaging solely with monolithic international players, the public sector now has the opportunity to not only exploit the benefits of working with a dynamic, innovative range of SMEs, but also to spend within the national economy, promoting our native technology sector and ultimately strengthening the country’s financial position.”

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