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Salesforce’s Benioff Slates Government Cloud Efforts

Salesforce CEO told a conference in London that the UK government’s cloud strategy is not up to scratch

On by David Jamieson 0

The CEO of Salesforce, Marc Benioff, criticised the UK government’s approach to the cloud yesterday, saying Britain’s so-called G-cloud had fallen “way behind” the US.

After meeting with Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude on Tuesday, Benioff was unimpressed by the focus on building private cloud computing and storage infrastructure, reports Bloomberg.

“The government should stop hiding behind the private cloud” he told the company’s Cloudforce event in London.

“Governments have too many data centres – In the US, we have 3,500 government data centres all of which have single-figure utilisation. The UK has single-figure utilisation rates too and needs to start consolidating them,” said Benioff, according to other reports.

He said the government was guilty of putting too much emphasis on the G-Cloud and virtualisation, spending too much on too many datacentres, he said.

Special relationship

The issues facing the UK government were similar to those the US is tackling, he said, claiming the government’s data centres’ single digit utilisation rates were inefficient. “That’s not ok,” he said. “It’s costing them a fortune.”

Benioff also announced the company’s first UK data centre will open next year and it is currently in discussion with four vendors.

Despite Benioff’s comments, the G-Cloud saga continues to drag on. Grumblings from proposed suppliers about the project being canned have since been denied by the government but details remain sketchy.

Under pressure to make savings, consolidating the fragmented government IT landscape in the cloud appears to make perfect sense and Martin Bellamy, director of change and ICT at the Ministry of Justice (MoJ), reiterated this week that the G-Cloud was “alive and kicking”.

Speaking at a Westminster eForum on Tuesday, he said the government’s cloud delivery strategy would be published next month.

According to Bellamy the government had considered the merits of the private and public cloud and opted to combine the two, “embracing public cloud services where they fit” and working with private cloud providers in certain situations, particularly where a high level of security is required.

In January, a poll of eWEEK Europe UK readers revealed a roughly equal split between those who believe the G-Cloud will fail spectacularly and those who back it to succeed.

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