Survey: half of local public bodies shun G-Cloud

Written by Colin Marrs on 28 March 2014 in News
News

Almost half of local public sector bodies have no plans to procure services from the government’s G-Cloud marketplace, a new survey claims to reveal.

Almost half of local public sector bodies have no plans to procure services from the government’s G-Cloud marketplace, a new survey claims to reveal.

A poll of 203 senior officers from local authorities, police and fire services found that 46 per cent said they had no plans to use G-Cloud, with only 19% saying they are already using it. A further 35% said that they were planning to use the platform in future.

This figure contrasted with 37% of respondents who said they already use general cloud services with a further 29% planning to use cloud in the next year.

The surveycarried out by polling firm iGov Survey, showed that 77% are using shared services to reduce costs, 75% reducing staff, and 71% using mobile technologies.

However, the report said: “Interestingly, only 36% of participants viewed government frameworks as a priority, which perhaps reflects a lack of confidence in the relatively new initiatives such as the G-Cloud e-procurement network.”

David McAughtrie, digital content manager at software supplier Unit4, said that despite the relative lack of interest in the G-Cloud platform, the fact that councils are adopting general cloud services is encouraging.

He said: “When viewed alongside the steps taken to deploy cloud and shared services technologies, public sector managers appear to be actively guarding against future, as yet unannounced, funding cuts.

“In seeking new ways of working and ICT solutions to support them, managers’ new buying habits are shaping the services available.”

When ranking the benefits of cloud computing, the majority (57%) of respondents identified the reduced cost of hardware as a benefit. This was followed by the ability to scale use up and down as required at (55%).

When asked about their organisation’s ability to maintain standards of service delivery in the face of funding cuts, the majority (53%) said they were confident this would happen with only 3% expressing no confidence at all.

But 60% of local authorities identified future resources issues as the biggest threat to their ability to maintain service standards.

When asked about their main motivation for procuring new technology, 49% of those surveyed cited improving services while 33% were mainly focused on cost reduction.

The study said: “For those who answered ‘other’, a significant proportion told us they are motivated by a combination of service improvement and cost reduction and that one cannot be achieved without the other.”

Last week, PublicTechnology.net revealed that local authorities counted for 4.9 per cent of total G-Cloud sales by value during the first two months of 2014.

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