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UK: G-CLOUD - Fundamentally Changing Public Sector IT
Source: http://www.publicservice.co.uk/feature_story.asp?id=21386
Source Date: Thursday, November 08, 2012
Focus: ICT for MDGs, Internet Governance
Country: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Irela
Created: Nov 08, 2012

The latest expansion of the government's G-Cloud framework came in October, enabling the UK public sector to gain access to the same proven cloud technologies that are used by commercial businesses and governments across the globe. The G-Cloud framework underpins a cloud-first approach by the UK government that fundamentally changes the way public sector organisations procure and operate information technology to improve services and work more effectively for the public. The framework and catalogued list of suppliers simplifies the procurement process and provides easy access to approved cloud technologies.

There is tremendous opportunity for the public sector to harness the power of social and mobile cloud computing to innovate and transform.

The legacy of IT projects that have run over budget and behind schedule is well documented in the UK. The G-Cloud provides an opportunity to get rid of the bureaucracy of legacy government IT and enables the public sector to harness the power of social and mobile cloud computing and deliver immediate benefits to their citizens. In today's economic climate that is especially good news for the UK taxpayer.

Governments are also looking at what has happened in the consumer world and realising that they need to transform for the social era. Facebook has revolutionised the way that we collaborate and communicate. At the same time, smartphones and tablets provide mobile access to information from any location. Together, this has redefined consumer computing.

Gone are the days when people used the phone as their principal means of getting in touch with an organisation if they were unhappy with a product or service. Today, they are just as likely to post a comment on Twitter or even upload a video to YouTube. Organisations need to make themselves available to respond to their customers through the channels chosen by the customer. If that's Facebook or Twitter then those are the channels that customer service teams need to be monitoring and responding to. Governments have the same responsibility to their citizens. They need to listen and engage with people on their chosen channels.

The Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead is working to create a service that is transparent, responsive and focused on customer success. The organisation is using social cloud technologies to service their customers across a range of access channels including Facebook and Twitter. Internally, staff collaborate via a private social network to share knowledge across the organisation and ensure quicker case resolution.  Deployment time was measured in weeks - normally technology implementations are measured in months and years. This is a great example of a public sector organisation using social media, mobility and collaboration solutions to better serve their 140,000 residents.
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