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Cloud computing to receive half of ICT spending

Half of all spending on ICT will be focused on cloud computing by the end of 2015, according to a new strategy document published by the Cabinet Office.

Other goals include opening the Government Application Store by the end of 2012, with 50 accredited products available, and for 80% of Government telecommunications to be spent on systems which are compliant with the Public Service Network by March 2014.

The Government Cloud Authority is set to publish its own strategy this month, and will be supported by a Cloud Services Group, established to help to work with suppliers.

The strategy aims to improve efficiency and quality of ICT, as well as increasing standardization, with the mandatory use of open standards and commodity procurement.

Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude said: “This Government is committed to delivering a better service to the taxpayer on government ICT projects. Today's Strategic Implementation Plan sets out how we will do this. It gives a detailed breakdown of how the reforms this government is making to ICT projects are going to be delivered.

“In August we announced that we had already saved the public purse £300m by applying greater scrutiny to our ICT expenditure. And now we are going even further to save even more money, while delivering higher standards for government ICT.”

Other significant elements of the plan include:
• The creation of an Open Standards Board to manage activities in the field.
• A core set of open standards to be identified by March 2012, and made available for use by departments by June.
• Spending will not be approved for projects that are not shown to have referenced the Asset and Services Knowledgebase.
• The publication of an end user device strategy this month, to be fully implemented by January 2013.
• The publication of a new strategy for green ICT in government this month, leading to the standardisation of carbon footprinting methods in Whitehall by April 2015.
• A review of application programme interfaces across government, with a standard model to be in place by July 2012.

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