Where Did All The Big Shots Go?

Is it me or did all the big players in UK Government IT take up roles at names you’ve never heard of?

Joe Harley … joins Amor Group as an advisorrevenue £34m.

Steve Lamey … joined Kelway as COOrevenue £350m.

John Collington … joined Alexander Mann Solutions as COO … revenue unknown (hideous website too).

Is this a sign that the “usual suspects” are #unacceptable employers for former government leaders? Or that opportunities are better in smaller companies? Or that the government A team isn’t quite so A? Three is perhaps the start of a trend but not the confirmation of a trend.

Meanwhile, in other news, government has now lost two female permanent secretaries in a matter of weeks – Helen Ghosh (Home Office) leaves to be CEO at the National Trust, Moira Wallace (DECC) is leaving with no new role yet announced; Ursula Brennan has moved on from MoD to MoJ (leaving MoD, ummm, rudderless?) and Melanie Dawes (who stood in for Ian Watmore after his departure) has not been confirmed in the role.

Keeping Things Dinging

Denise McDonagh’s latest blog post provides some interesting clues as to what we might expect next from G-Cloud.  Earlier this year I wrote what I thought it would be good to see in 2012.  Well, we’re 8 months on from that post, how are we doing:

Proposal: The Government Digital Service were, last I looked, hosting
alpha.gov (and presumably beta.gov) with amazon web services.  Within a
month, they should move it to a company on the gCloud framework. If
Amazon are on there, they should skip the easy decision and move it to a
UK company hosting in the UK.

Status: I think any day now we will hear that this is done.  Ok, it took 6 months longer than I proposed, but the GDS folks will come good on this – both on the move to the framework and to the UK company.
Proposal: A dozen
departments should engage a dozen different companies to produce cloud
strategies that, having inventoried what the department has in place,
provide a route map to the far cheaper IT that will result from this
radical transparency.  The departments should publish those studies to
help everyone else see what is possible. 
Status: I expected to see much more activity on Lot 4 and I certainly expected to see some publication of cloud strategies by now.  I hear they’re coming, at least before the end of the year.  I’m hopeful of a fully transparent roadmap that (a) defines what “50% of new spend” means and (b) explains how, over the next 3 years, that spend will move to public cloud.
Proposal: One
small, one medium and one large department should buy its email service
from a gCloud company before the end of June 2012. 
Status:  At least one of each of these is in evaluation.  On the “large” side, actually more are in evaluation.  I’m not holding my breath but I’d like to see one press the “Buy it now” button and make the move before the end of the year.  The lack of IL3 accredited email services is not helping there, but that (according to Denise’s blog is not far from being resolved).
Proposal: Five local authorities and one central government department should
move 80% (by spend) of their IT to be provisioned by the gCloud
framework before the end of this iteration
Status: I know I was dreaming.  I thought someone might go for this.  No sign of anyone taking the radical approach yet.  Even the relatively small departments with upcoming contract renewals are shying away from this.
I also said “The gCloud team have started something here.  Predicting how it will
look in 10 years, or even 5, is by difficult of course. But one thing is
for sure, markets rarely turn back from transparency once it has been
achieved.” – Don’t see any reason to change that view.