Public sector moving more services to cloud

Seven in ten local public sector organisations are using cloud technology, according to a survey of the sector.

The finding comes from a survey by Socitm, the representative body for public sector ICT professionals, which surveyed 103 councils, local public services and voluntary organisations.

While 66% said that they have some applications in the cloud and are investigation others, 4% are already highly invested in the technology. A further 21% are at the earlier stages of investigating or doing a pilot, with another 4% saying they have considered and rejected the cloud as a solution.

Factors influencing take-up included security concerns, with 70% citing data protection regulations. Half said they would not use a cloud services provider for certain applications or services. These included person-related data, mission critical services and control systems, along with email, enterprise resource planning and other core corporate systems.

Socitm head of research Andy Hopkirk said: “Service providers have work to do in convincing many Socitm members that their personal and corporate business risks are not increased by using cloud services to an extent that outweighs the benefits.”

Procurement is less of an issue, with 60% saying the current procurement environment does not inhibit them. However, take up of frameworks available through the Digital Marketplace and pay-as-you-go agreements is low.

Perceived benefits of cloud adoption vary according to the degree to which organisations have invested in it, the report found.

Advantages identified  by those with high levels of investment included greater scalability, business continuity, greater flexibility and capacity, along with cost savings.

Those with some, but less, investment, placed value on cost savings and the modernisation of business processes.

Steve Shakespeare, managing director of Civica Services, which sponsored the survey says: ‘There is an education piece needed on the different types of cloud options and what that means in terms of the benefits and acceptable risks. 

“We understand the need to be cautious with data, and while public cloud providers may not always be the best place for this, a secure managed private cloud can work well.”

Colin Marrs

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