The government could allow third parties to offer their own version of the G-Cloud store, which went live this week offering the public sector a large range of cloud computing services on short-term contracts.
The first iteration of the CloudStore boasts 257 suppliers offering 1,700 cloud computing services such as email, word processing, system hosting and enterprise resource planning that can be secured for a year at a time.
The CloudStore, under the leadership of G-Cloud director Chris Chant, was built by UK SMB Solidsoft, which uses the Microsoft Azure platform to host the service in the cloud.
In an exclusive interview with V3, Chant revealed that all the data that underpins the CloudStore is public, extending the commitment to openness in government computing and leading to the possibility of letting other firms host access to the services to widen availability.
"I am mulling over whether I am really bothered if there are multiple CloudStores," he said.
"Now all the data is publically available, people could pick it up and offer their own stores to the government, based on the G-Cloud framework."
He also revealed that 13,000 unique visitors had logged on to the service in the first three days, generating over 175,000 page views.
Chant said his next step is educating the public sector on CloudStore's availability and benefits.
"The next step is getting people to take it up," said Chant, adding that he would be soon running an event called Buy Camp to teach local authorities how CloudStore works and how to use it.
"The G-Cloud is for the whole public sector not just the government, including local authorities and the police. We are now even getting charities asking whether they can use it too so we will have to see if that's possible."
One of the potential pitfalls for the G-Cloud project is that public sector bodies will stick with the large, easily recognisable suppliers. But Chant rejects that suggestion.
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