The one per cent of GDP spent on IT needs to be reduced, according to deputy government CIO Liam Maxwell, during a keynote speech at the Business Cloud Summit in central London today.
"One per cent of GDP is spent on IT, and that's much too high," Maxwell told the audience. He said that it costs £1.2bn to host all the services the government runs, but that these costs are being reduced through use of the G-Cloud store, the cross-departmental initiative looking to introduce cloud services to the public sector.
And while the aim is to further reduce costs by moving more services to the cloud, if for some reason G-Cloud were suddenly to cease to exist, plenty of savings have already been made in Whitehall.
"Even if the cloud store shut tomorrow, we have saved a huge amount of money," said Maxwell, arguing that G-Cloud is far better way for organisations to procure services than the previous model.
"The enterprise model is being destroyed in government, which is good," he said, going on to add that the result has been a "major change in culture around Whitehall".
But he admitted the process hasn't always been a smooth one, pointing to flawed security and accreditation methods, which the government is working to improve.
"We haven't got it right all the time," Maxwell said. "We will come back in two to three months with a more streamlined accreditation scheme." This, he said, will make it easier for G-Cloud users to purchase the services they want.
The government's commitment to choice means more services are being added to the G-Cloud store, with Salesforce.com adding its applications to the service last month.