Public Services > Central Government

GDS seeks to broaden cross-government cloud strategy group

Neil Merrett Published 31 January 2017

Cloud Office Productivity Services, formed as part of CTS, targets broader expertise and resource sharing across Whitehall to streamline online services overhaul


The Government Digital Service (GDS) is encouraging a broader number of Whitehall authorities to join a cross-government community focused on encouraging and setting out improved cloud adoption policy as part of its Common Technology Services (CTS) initiative.

CTS was founded to try and ensure a more consistent approach to workplace IT used to support civil servants, focusing on areas such as more secure systems, lower costs and interoperability.

As part of this broader focus, the Cloud Office Productivity Services (COPS) has been formed to look at how departments can best iterate services and reduce duplicating departmental work when implementing solutions such as spreadsheets, email systems, and a number of other collaborations tools.

“[These functions] can also include internet-based services that make it easier for people to do their work without mandatory downloads or installation, allowing users the choice to do all their work online. Although we do use platforms like iOS, Android and Google Apps, we’re not tied to any specific vendors,” said GDS in a blog post.

In looking to expand membership to COPS, GDS has said that ensuring wider participation from figures across Whitehall is will help ensure an improved perspective on cloud adoption challenges facing the government and ensuring the availability of increased resources.

New members will also be asked to share experiences, research and files to gain feedback on their work.

“Every month, our cross-government community hosts a forum where departments can meet to discuss ongoing projects. At each forum, one government department volunteers to discuss their work and cloud adoption requirements, and other community members will look at ways they can assist their journey,” said GDS “We’ll also talk about any issues we’re having, and pool our knowledge to find solutions.”

Outside of seeking an expanded membership for COPS, GDS last week said it was not expecting to seek a replacement for its chief technology officer, Andy Beale, who stood down earlier this month.

Beale, who initially assumed the CTO role on an interim basis last year in order to oversee work bringing together separate GDS teams working on policy and standards, architecture, service assurance and strategic change, has stood down from the position after providing several months notice.

However, Government Computing understands that with GDS still yet to unveil its delayed strategy for the scope and shape of future operations, there is no intention to recruit a replacement CTO.

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