Public sector ‘increasing depth of cloud engagement’

The proportion of public sector bodies using more than one cloud-based service has risen from 53% to 82% over the past year, according to new data.

Cloud Industry Forum (CIF) revealed that the overall cloud adoption rate in among UK public sector bodies today stands at 78 per cent.

The figures show that of those that have adopted cloud, only 18% are only running one service, compared to 47% last year.

Alex Hilton, chief executive of CIF, said: “Cloud computing has come a long way in just a few short years. Since we commissioned our first major research project into the UK, cloud has moved from the edge of the IT estate to its centre, and it is now largely regarded as just another way that we do IT.”

However, he warned that cloud is likely to sit alongside on-site solutions for some time to come, with the report showing that 56% of government organisations saying they intend to keep some services and apps on premises. Only 18% said they were intending to move their entire IT estate to the cloud as soon as was practicable.

“Although more organisations than ever are committing to a 100% cloud environment, the vast majority are a long way from migrating their entire IT estates,” Hilton said.

The figures showed that 87% of public sector respondents are happy with their hosted or cloud-based services, compared to 91% in the private sector.

And 74% of government bodies said they expect to increase their use of cloud in the next year, compared to 69% of businesses.

“Looking to the year ahead, we have every confidence that the Cloud’s momentum will be maintained, helped in no small part by the retirement of Microsoft Windows Server 2003 and Microsoft Small Business Server 2003,” Hilton said.

60% of public sector respondents said their organisation was running Windows Server 2003 services that require a refresh by 2015.

Other key findings from the report include the fact that only 15% of public sector bodies say use of cloud has encouraged self-service purchasing of IT by people outside of the IT department, compared to 25% in the private sector.

More than a quarter (28%) said that cloud had led to a reduction in the size of their team, compared to just 17% of business respondents.

Colin Marrs

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