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Making your projects a success for G-Cloud customers

Making your projects a success for G-Cloud customers

As the government decrees a “G Cloud first” policy we must acknowledge the knock on effect this will have on the IT industry.

By Gavin Badcock, Director eSynergy Solutions Ltd

Despite having been around for 12 months or so now, the UK G-Cloud initiative seems to have had limited success with only a few UK organisations using the framework to procure their ICT and Cloud services. It seems that the reasons for the slow adoption has been down to a general fear of the unknown when using the portal system, a reticence about changing from existing ICT procurement arrangements and a general lack of knowledge about the G-Cloud in general.  However, with the UK government decreeing a “G-Cloud first” policy for Central Government and the knock on effect this will have, the wide spread use of the G-Cloud is inevitable. What can G-Cloud customers do to make sure these projects are a success?

With any new disruptive technology like the Cloud or Big Data it is vitally important to make sure an impartial view is taken on the technologies and services available. While there are a few well known Cloud and Big Data products available, for example Amazon Web Services or Hadoop, it doesn’t mean they are the best solution to your problems. The most important thing any new G-Cloud customer should do is to engage with a recognised independent industry expert who can assess their requirements and then make the best recommendations on what technology suits your needs. Software vendors and systems integrators are not always the best places to find these people.

It has been noticeable recently that there are so many new Cloud and Big Data technologies bursting onto the market that whatever is relevant today, might literally be superseded by something far better tomorrow.  The Cloud in general has lots of new services on products coming to market daily that make choosing a technology service or solution extremely difficult if you aren’t an expert.

The point I am driving at is, as a customer make sure you engage with somebody or a supplier not focused on one technology. Unfortunately many vendors in this space do focus on one technology but there are many parts to the puzzle, make sure you choose the right pieces.  I fear many organisations are just using the most commonly known technology because that’s what they read or were told is best. So who designs and builds your Cloud service? Again, if you choose a vendor or systems integrator (even the “Specialist” Consultancies) to build your solution, how can you guarantee the “fit for purpose” of their staff and their solutions, especially in new ICT technologies like the Cloud?

My recommendation would be to hire independent contractors. As long as you have recruited a switched on independent Cloud or Big Data Architect that knows this domain really well, they will design the right solution.  They will also be able to recognise the best and most valuable development skills you will need to hire to build your solution. After all, they aren’t looking to sell you software licenses or consulting services are they? You might be taking on a bit more risk as a customer by owning the project, but ultimately you will be getting a better solution for a more competitive price. This is one of the major drivers for the G-Cloud initiative: to give you better ICT solutions for cheaper costs.

The key question then, is how do you hire the best Cloud skills? To have a great technology solution as a customer you need to provide interesting projects to work on. This will attract the top IT talent. Just as importantly, make sure you use a specialist Cloud IT recruitment agency. They will know the technologies, and will get you those highly skilled candidates that will ensure that your Cloud and ICT projects are a success. They will even be able to save you a lot of money and time in hiring the best people. There are a few IT recruiters signed up as official G-Cloud suppliers (like  my company eSynergy) and they should be a valuable partner in making sure your Cloud projects are a success this year and for the foreseeable future.

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