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Cloud technology is gathering pace in the public sector, though it’s still early days

June 11, 2019 by Lape Runsewe

Cloud technology is gathering pace in the public sector, though it’s still early days

Since the UK Government announced its adoption of a ‘Cloud First’ policy for public sector IT, cloud computing developed a new momentum in government departments and local authorities.

Three initiatives galvanised much greater involvement of cloud service provision in public sector IT practice:

  1. The G-Cloud initiative paved the way for more use of cloud solutions by government bodies. It provided better standards and a more straightforward set of regulations that businesses can follow to enter the public market sector.
  2. The National Cyber Security Centre now certifies qualified service providers, giving communities and public sector entities access to reputable service providers without the complex screening processes they previously needed to do themselves.
  3. The G-Cloud 10 Commercial Agreement was put into practice by the Crown Commercial Service. Infrastructure, platform, software and specialist cloud service providers can enter a digital marketplace where they can connect with government bodies and the public sector as a whole.

Despite this, Cloud, like AI, still has a long way to go in government. According to study by McKinsey & Company in 2018, less than 20 percent of government workloads are utilizing cloud technology. The report believes this is because departments are still wrestling with the process of merging existing assets — such as infrastructure, applications, workloads and data — with cloud-native efforts. Whilst cloud technology may be viewed as maturing in some parts of the commercial sector such as financial services, in government it’s still in its infancy.


There are multiple benefits from cloud technology for government services

There are many significant benefits for public service departments from the cloud once the hurdles can be overcome. These include:

 

  • Major cost savings
    Cloud enables potentially huge cost-savings for government IT departments which in turn can free up money to provide more and better public services. For example, digitisation of public information and migration to the cloud can free up budgets to invest in new public facilities, improvements to public infrastructure and local cultural initiatives. Furthermore it enables the elimination of redundant infrastructure and unneeded software licences.
  • Greater Innovation
    Cloud enables better innovation for other technological services. For example, for local healthcare authorities who can then invest further in medical technologies to allow the provision of better patient screening services and faster data analysis. Technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) and processing data in the cloud means that IT departments and data analysts can spend more time planning and optimising local services.  (Source: ITPro Portal)
  • Greater speed and agility
    Whether it’s a proof-of-concept or a new application under development, cloud technologies allow government to innovate and react to change much more quickly. With change the only constant in modern life, cloud enables previously cumbersome government departments to adapt as fast as their private sector counterparts to improve citizen experiences.
  • Flexibility to access open source software
    Huge flexibility comes from an ability to customize, giving departments a better chance of getting and connecting to exactly the software needed. This also avoids vendor or cloud lock-in, because open source allows the choice of technologies that best suit government needs.

Cloud is also now much more than just a ‘location’ for technology, it’s become more a like set of internal and external capabilities. It’s a set of leadership, human and technological capabilities that enable organisations to use and manage all their data and applications in not just a single ‘cloud’ but a multi-cloud, multi-technology environment. It’s an exciting time to be in government IT!

 

How Digiterre can help

If you have any questions about cloud technologies or are seeking a partner to assist you harness its opportunities, do get in touch with Digiterre. Digiterre has extensive experience designing and implementing technology solutions across the public sector, energy, banking and investment management industries. We typically deliver technology solutions requiring business agility, adaptability, innovation and a proven track record in order to solve high risk, high profile and complex technical challenges, very well and very fast.

 

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