UK public sector bodies are spending more than £300m a year on the hidden costs associated with cloud computing, according to new research.
A survey of senior decision makers in the sector carried out by managed ICT and cloud supplier Sungard Availability Services (SAS), found that 78% have adopted cloud as part of their ICT strategy.
But it revealed that 82% of organisations have encountered some form of unplanned cloud spending, with each paying an average of £139,000 per year on cloud maintenance and £258,000 over the past five years due to unforeseen costs.
Keith Tilley, executive vice president, global sales & customer services Management at SAS, said: “Cost and efficiency savings are top of the agenda for the public sector and cloud computing has the potential to dramatically reduce costs across health, education, central and local government and much more, if it is deployed in the right way.
“However, there is no silver bullet for adopting cloud computing and it is clear that the public sector has faced some significant challenges including interoperability, management and operational expenditure.”
Unforseen costs include external maintenance costs for hardware, systems integration costs to ensure applications can share data, according to the research.
Whilst 42% of respondents are looking for cloud to help them reduce workload and costs, 47 per cent looked to reduce IT costs, a similar amount (43%) say they are struggling with staff costs to manage deployments.
In addition, over half (55%) of UK public sector organisations said that cloud had in fact increased the complexity of their ICT environment.
Almost three quarters (71%) said that cloud computing added a new set of ICT challenges – with interoperability between their existing ICT estate and their cloud platforms considered by almost half (44%) as the biggest issue.
Tilley said: “Whilst the public sector can indeed see incredible benefits from cloud computing including agility (58%) cost savings (58%) and increased security (53%), the cloud needs to be deployed on a case-by-case basis in line with business goals and the nature of the application or the workload.”