Government CIO proposes 'App Store' structure for G-Cloud

By Peter Gothard
13 Dec 2012 View Comments

The government's CIO, Andy Nelson (pictured), has spelled out his future wishes for the ongoing G-Cloud project, which include a structure more like Apple's App Store, and a service contract that can be shifted easily between suppliers.

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The service, which launched in February 2012, has seen gradual uptake across the UK. But according to Nelson, key changes are on the horizon to improve the service's useability.

Speaking to an audience of IT leaders at yesterday's Westminster Cloud Computing eForum, Nelson said: "What we'd love to be able to do with this is be in a world where it's more like an app store, where it works on multiple devices, and has an online catalogue that's just there all the time, and where you can find ratings. We're not there yet."

Nelson spoke of the need for a more developed ratings and feedback system.

"Every six months, we'd like to refresh this catalogue," said Nelson.

"A procurement process [currently] exists where people have to apply, then go through commercial checks, and checks on their services. We've put this down to a process that takes 10 minutes or an hour to go through, and we're not doing due diligence around the service; what we're actually doing is relying on the buying community who uses them."

What Nelson would like to see is a wider-reaching audience feedback system, including those who no longer, or regret, using services that did not work out for them.

"Say the service isn't any good - say it's really cheap and that's why I bought it," said Nelson, "but I discovered why it's really cheap; because it was crap, frankly, so I'm not going to buy it anymore. So I'm going rate it that way. Do we have a rating system up there? No, we don't at this point."

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