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Our policy briefings represent the interests of those involved in the design and delivery of public services.
The Crown Commercial Service has indicated that it is set to replace the government’s long-standing cloud first policy with more appropriate guidance.
Since 2013, government organisations have been required to apply the guidelines to all technology procurement decisions. The policy, which was developed by the Government Digital Service, stipulates that buyers should fully evaluate potential [public] cloud solutions first before considering any other option.
Doing so is mandatory for central government entities and strongly recommended for the rest of the public sector.
But CCS said that having worked though the digital transformation journey with many central government departments and wider public sector organisations, it has become apparent that one size does not fit all.
“Organisations should make sure they understand what the journey to ‘cloud’ is and means for them in terms of costs, risks, skills and timescales,” CCS said. “We are seeing more and more customers land on a hybrid solution and therefore ‘cloud first’ may not be right for everyone. Therefore, we have engaged with GDS to find more appropriate guidance,” it added.
The review of the policy comes shortly after CCS took over running of the Digital Marketplace platform from GDS. Over the coming months, the procurement agency is to lead work to develop a replacement platform, currently dubbed Digital Marketplace 2. This comes instead of the Crown Marketplace – a planned ‘Amazonesque’ marketplace for all commodity goods and services – the construction of which is no longer going ahead.
CCS is also looking to create a new commercial agreement covering cloud hosting services. The framework, which will likely launch next year and will initially sit alongside the more generalist G-Cloud vehicle, is set to feature three lots, respectively addressing hyperscale hosting, smaller hosting environments, and related services.
The cloud hosting agreement is likely to feature longer-term call-off contracts – of five years, rather than the two-year deals available under G-Cloud – as well as the scope for further competition, and what it calls normalised pricing.
Our next Leadership Academy Top Talent programme begins on 3-4 July in Leeds.
Those taking part will be involved in an exciting and ground-breaking research programme for Leeds City Council.
The council is keen to explore a rewards scheme that promotes behaviour change and positive citizen engagement amongst those who live, work and visit Leeds.
In recognition of the outstanding achievements of our Top Talent graduates, the council has asked us to undertake a three-month research phase in order to gain greater understanding as to whether the scheme could result in a strong business case that leads to the development of a multi-platform innovative solution.
Similar schemes are being trialled in a handful cities around the world including Belfast and Tel Aviv. These initiatives offer rewards such as free leisure passes for using public transport and free coffee-shop drinks for undertaking charity work.
Health and wellbeing, travel and transport, housing standards and growth and climate emergency are all key priorities in Leeds’ smart cities programme, Smart Leeds, and this is the first project of its kind in the UK, outside of Northern Ireland.
This is a fantastic opportunity for our Top Talent Cohort to be part of something that could change how local authorities motivate and engage residents and visitors. The project could set a benchmark both nationally and globally and the Top Talent group will be presenting their findings at Share Leeds on 15 October.
To book your place email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Preceding our President’s Conference in England’s very own Venice, i.e Birmingham (56kkms of canals), this year’s annual conference of Socitm’s Major Cities of Europe (MCE) partner took place in Venice (42kms of canals). Hosted and organised together with the Municipality of Venice, the Cà Foscari University and VENIS S.p.A. at the Cà Foscari Economic Campus, the overarching theme of the conference was “Channelling Change – Digital cities in a changing world – Explore more, Discover more, Create more”.
Close to 350 delegates came from 20 countries to share their experiences, including our own Socitm representatives.
Sandra Taylor and Nadira Hussain shared the many achievements from Socitm’s unfolding Leadership, Diversity and Skills Programme and some of the extraordinary testimonies from our Leadership Academy. Nadira also had the opportunity to chair a panel discussion titled ‘Digital Transformation: The Leadership Paradox’; sharing experiences as to how we can improve the adoption more widely of good digital government practice. The point of reference being we can all think of cities who are said to be “leading” in these areas, but few who can be said to be following that lead – in which case, is there true leadership?
Martin Ferguson gave an enthusiastic and thought-provoking contribution, drawing upon UK experience, to a session entitled: The Moral Maze – the role of cities in avoiding a digital dystopia.
The conference was a unique opportunity to:
The topics for the different sessions of the conference included:
These conference sessions and future workshops provide valuable material for our own Socitm Inform research programme – evidence of this is in resources generated from the most recent workshop on leveraging data:
For anyone who may be interested, membership of MCE is open to all municipalities and provides a unique opportunity to gain fresh perspectives on the contemporary issues facing digital leaders in their many diverse places.
Next year’s conference, which is free to attend for all MCE members, will be in Larissa, Greece 27-29 May 2020
By Sandra Taylor, Nadira Hussain and Martin Ferguson.
Our free publication In Our View seeks to draw together all elements of our existing work.Find out more