New players ally to G-Cloud 7 amid accusations of anti-cloud behaviour

Cloud computingA number of new service providers have announced their participation in the latest iteration of the UK’s government computing services framework, G-Cloud 7. Among the new suppliers pledging to meet the conditions of the latest framework were Fordway, Acuity, Company 85, RedCentric and Komodo Digital.

However, critics have argued that The Crown Commercial Service (CCS) has introduced uncloud-like behaviour, as newly introduced limits could hinder buyers from expanding their use of cloud services.

Under the new rules in G-Cloud 7, users will be forced to re-tender via G-Cloud if they intend to buy additional capacity or services that will cost more than 20% of their original contract’s value. This, according to industry body EuroCloud UK, goes against the defining principle of cloud computing, scalability.

“It deters buyers from using the G-Cloud framework, because it actively discourages the pay per use principle,” said Neil Bacon, MD of Global Introductions and a member of EuroCloud’s G-Cloud working group. Worse still, he said, it will prevent buyers from getting the economies of scale that are the original motivation for their buying decision.

Several G-Cloud providers, including EduServ and Skyscape, outlined their concerns about the move in writing to the Cabinet Office. However, Surrey-based service provider Fordway has committed to the new system, launching its Cloud Intermediation Service (CIS) on G-Cloud 7.

The new service helps clients assess, plan, transform and migrate their infrastructure partly or completely to public cloud. It promises agile project management, bundling together the resources that clients will need to support their in-house team at each stage of the transition.

Fordway claims its relationships with public cloud providers such as Amazon Web Services, Microsoft and Google allow it to create a pivotal single point of contact to manage a transition irrespective of the target platforms.

In Fordway’s case, clients may not be subject to unexpected fluctuations in capacity demand, according to MD Richard Blanford.

“Most IT teams will only migrate their systems to cloud once, and it’s a big step. For the sake of their organisation and their own careers it needs to be planned and delivered successfully, on time and within budget, without any surprises,” said Blanford.