A couple of weeks ago we had an interesting comment posted that asked what we think the effect of rating services on the cloudstore will be – whether we think it will “level up” offers or act as a brake on innovation because customers will be drawn to services that have already been rated (as a relatively risk free option).
Truth be told, we don’t know how it will play out but we have some ideas. Some context first, though – only registered customers will be able to rate services. We want to encourage people to leave comments and want to put as few barriers in the way of that as possible. With short contracts, easy exit and complete portability, the risks of selecting the “wrong” service and having to move are relatively low – we don’t, for instance, expect a departmental customer to launch into a new service and roll it out to their entire user base without testing out how it works first. That’s the real change – in the old, unacceptable model, requirements are written over a 12 month period, contracts are let over another 12 month period and then transition takes a further 12 months; 3 years after you first thought about it, you might be live and you’re stuck with whatever you’ve bought, potentially for years more. With the new, G-Cloud, model, we’re looking to move that process from 3 years to 3 days or maybe even 3 hours.
We will keep a close eye on comments but we will also use the home page of the cloudstore to promote new services, especially those offered by new, smaller companies, so that we can highlight what’s available. As we see more customers make purchases from the cloudstore, and we see new services become available, we will doubtless have to make more changes – with 1,700 services already we have a huge range of capabilities that the public sector can deploy and we only expect that to grow.