“This is a transparent environment”, Andy Nelson, the new government CIO, told CSW in an interview. “Someone might buy a service and think it’s really cheap but then find out that the reason for its low price is because it’s not very good.”
“We conceive of a world where people can say whether they have received a good service or not. Pricing is up there, the nature of the service, so why not ratings?” he said, adding that his vision is of something similar to Apple and its app store.
CloudStore launched in February 2012. As of 2 April, just seven sales had been completed. The first was by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, which bought ‘Agile’ training software. The Department for Work and Pensions has also made a purchase, selecting digital communication management software from GovDelivery.
Nelson has said he is “happy for people to be buying modestly”.
“I’m not expecting people to buy huge swathes of services through the store at this stage. It is a new thing for us to produce and it’s a new thing for people to buy from,” he said.
The next iteration of CloudStore is expected this month. This will see the catalogue element of the store being moved to the Government eMarketplace, an existing government procurement platform that has been given improved functionality.
Currently the site holds 1,700 products and services from 250 companies. As yet, few of these have been scrutinised by the government: the aim is for the store to hold 50 accredited services by the end of the year. Ministers also have a target that 50 per cent of new government IT spend should be made through CloudStore by 2015.
See the full interview with Andy Nelson.