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Growing the Cloud Office Productivity Service community

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At GDS we work with departments to make sure government has access to the right technology. The Cloud Office Productivity Services (COPS) supports the adoption of cloud-based office services in government as part of Common Technology Services (CTS).

From early on, GDS has worked hard to change how government buys IT services. There’s been a huge effort to move away from long, inflexible contracts to short-term, targeted solutions. This saves a lot of money for government, and means that teams aren't tied to technology that can’t adapt to their changing needs. We want to meet the user needs of the people who work within government as they arise, and only pay for the services we use.

COPS provide support for cloud-based solutions that help people be more productive. These office productivity tools can include spreadsheets, email systems, and other collaborations tools. They 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.

Communities can make a difference to the work of COPS

We’ve set up a community for people across government, who are helping to push forward cloud adoption more quickly and efficiently for everyone.

This COPS cross-government community is important for the work of our team. We work with other departments to focus on office productivity applications across government. And, it gives us invaluable insights for how we can best iterate our services, resolve duplications and save money.

What to expect in the community

When a new member joins our community, we send them introduction emails about the services we support, and the current documents in discussion. We want to make sure everyone understands how to get the most out of being in, and contribute to, our community from the very start.

We encourage the community to share the things they’ve been doing, and to review anything that’s been submitted for discussion. Members also share useful files and user research and provide feedback on discussion posts and any resources we’ve created. These can be anything from test plans, to lessons we’ve learnt or experiments we’ve done.

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. We’ll also talk about any issues we’re having, and pool our knowledge to find solutions.

By getting together as a community we can share common issues, experiences and lessons learned to make sure that you get the most out of this as well.

Giving departments the things they need

We learn a lot from our community about good practices for cloud adoption, which is reviewed and collated into a series of easy to digest guides. These guides can be used by departments when forming their own cloud adoption strategy.

Helping us helping you

The more people we have in our community, the better our perspective will be on what we need to do to help government be more productive. In fact, the amount of money we can potentially save rises in tandem with the number of members in the community. More people in the mix means more shared knowledge. It means more resources to reuse, and ultimately, more ways for government bodies to help themselves.

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