Following the success of the UK government cloud computing initiative G-Cloud, it was only a matter of time before the Irish government followed suit.
While the scheme, titled the Government Cloud Services Catalogue (GCSC), was in development for almost two years it has just emerged it has been called off due to services not being up to standard.
Government interim CIO Mike McGrath put a halt to development following the responses to the Request for Tender (RFT) were said to not have met the standards set out therefore the framework would not have met the needs of the parties involved. He does however intend to come up with a replacement, perhaps slightly complex than the original.
“Given the increased adoption of cloud services by the private sector it’s hugely important that the Government follow suite. As a cloud telecoms company we’re seeing first-hand the benefits a cloud-centric approach to technology brings to modern business. The decision to cancel the project a year into development will now have to be absorbed by the private sector, which is not ideal. The announcement of a new, more focused, cloud services platform is an indication of Government’s awareness of how lucrative this project could be for indigenous technology companies. I hope the learnings from the cancelled project can be applied to this new plan which will hopefully speed up its deployment.” – Ross Murray, MD of Welltel
Since its initial proposal in 2013 over 100 IT companies had made a bid to be included in the pre-approved list of suppliers which could have potentially served users such as ministers and government departments, local authorities, second and third level education institutions, The Garda Síochána, the defence forces and many health sector authorities. These companies are now the ones who have taken the financial hit of the scheme being cancelled after investing huge time and resources for a coveted place on the list.
A letter was issued to the many perspective suppliers on March 16th outlining the plan to cancel the project stating that the economic and technical requirements for the project had changed radically.
10 days after this letter was sent, the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform made a statement to say that the government had approved and development had begun on a new ITC strategy for the Public Service.
Development is in the early stages and it is not yet known when the strategy is to be rolled out.