UK Government Cloud First Strategy Boosts SMB Cloud Vendors
All government departments should first consider any public cloud solution before looking for anything else, states the latest set of IT recommendations issued by UK’s Cabinet office. This is momentous and not only for UK but for governments around the world and how cloud is being perceived.
The actual statement is – while procuring IT solutions within any public sector organizations, IT “should consider and fully evaluate potential Cloud solutions first – before they consider any other option”. There are several factors which have contributed to a mature level of trust in Cloud products but what stands out the most is the direct saving in cost. At a time when governments are taking their hands-off new ambitious projects in almost every department, IT finds it increasingly more difficult to get budget approved for new solutions or upgrades of legacy systems. Cloud presents a viable alternative to the longstanding government solution vendors. In most cases, the cost savings could be up to 70% which is significant at this time of financial crunch.
As we reviewed a recent survey which proved that more adoption of the cloud only adds more value, Government’s adoption of the cloud follows the same pattern which means that if “on the fringes” is the phrase which describes your Cloud strategy then you may not experience the real value add which Cloud promises to deliver. This has also been proven by the experience of new comers who often cite insufficient reduction in overall IT costs when they deploy their first Cloud solution. Therefore deep penetration and full-on adoption is key to achieving real benefits and it holds true for Government as well as enterprise.
UK Government’s G-Cloud (short for Government Cloud) program aims at building a platform for transparently connecting cloud service providers (IaaS, SaaS, PaaS etc) and Government departments looking to procure Cloud solutions. What’s encouraging to note is that out of the total of 708 suppliers registered with G-Cloud, 80% are SMBs which is an indicator of a booming Cloud service provider ecosystem. This initiative also sets an example for other Governments to follow with only one implication – accelerated Cloud adoption at all levels.
Looking at this Cloud adoption drive by public sector organizations critically, we cannot just bypass information security concerns especially when it comes to sensitive public data. Even though Governments are advancing towards standardizing Cloud security policies, any incident of breach, especially when the control of the data is shared with private, for-profit, entities would have far reaching impact and may even hurt Cloud ecosystem. It’s only logical for Cloud providers to put information security at the top of their priorities, even higher than scalability, usability and stability. Trust is key when it comes to the Cloud.
By Walter Bailey