No one ever got fired for buying Microsoft, right? For too long that’s been the story in both enterprise and government contracts alike. It’s also a narrative that too-often stops startups getting in on the action with regards to public sector IT provision. But with the UK government making loud noises in relation to the benefits of cloud computing and services, perhaps change really is in the air.
Witness today’s news from Huddle, the cloud-based collaboration platform, which has agreed government-wide terms to provide its wares at a discount. A move, says the London-headquartered startup, that could save the UK taxpayer £100m if government departments and bodies wean themselves off Microsoft SharePoint. It also claims to be the first cloud supplier to recognise the UK government as a single ICT customer.
To that end, under the deal, any government body, including central government departments, local government, executive agencies, arms-length bodies and NHS agencies, can benefit from government-specific Huddle pricing, training and support.
It also nicely piggybacks the UK’s “Government ICT Strategy”, which recognises the benefits of moving to cloud computing in terms of cost and increased collaboration, along with the need to remove barriers preventing SMEs (read: startups) from participating in the government ICT marketplace.
Actually putting this into practice is what notions of a ‘Startup Britain’ should probably be about too and, arguably, given how much money is at stake in terms of government spending, is as least as tangible as the odd tech startup grant or tax break here and there.