A report by Eduserv and Socitm has raised concerns that progress in the public sector still faces some serious challenges, six years on from the 2013 launch of the Government’s Cloud First strategy.
The study, based on data from 633 organisations and interviews with IT leaders across the public sector, has identified variances in how many organisations have adopted a cloud infrastructure policy guidance or strategy. Public bodies lead with 79% having a strategy in place, followed by universities (55%). Meanwhile, just over half of emergency services (51%) and 44% of councils have taken similar steps.
The study also reveals that the motivations for cloud adoption vary by organisation: universities and public bodies are more drawn to scalability and agility, while emergency services put cost savings top.
The company’s say their research paints a picture of how IT is being managed differently across types of organisation. With the vast majority of universities primarily manage their IT in-house (96%), with only 1% outsourcing and 3% using a hybrid model. Public bodies are the organisations that use outsourced IT the most (20%). Meanwhile, emergency services are second in outsourcing IT at 16%, and local authorities a close third with 15%.
“As the report highlights, the journey will start on-premise and will almost certainly transition into a hybrid phase, possibly for quite some time, as many organisations are insufficiently mature in their IT management and information governance”, says Andy Powell, CTO at Eduserv.
“During their journey to the cloud, public sector organisation IT departments will need to refine their IT delivery models, based on an improved understanding of cloud technology and its potential, new governance models and opportunities of information and data. There is no better time to start thinking about those issues than right now.”
Martin Ferguson, Director of Policy and Research at Socitm, believes that, “The rate of cloud adoption by public sector organisations reflects some serious challenges their IT leaders are currently facing with austerity’s budgetary cuts, lack of understanding by the leadership in other parts of the organisation and a need for culture change.”
“Cloud can be a useful vehicle to facilitate collaboration. It is important that public sector organisations understand that cloud technology is not the end result. Rather, it can be one of the enablers of better ways of working and more effective service delivery to achieve better outcomes for citizens.”