A lack of information and guidance are the key factors behind the slow uptake of cloud services by government departments, says Peter Groucutt, managing director of Infrastructure as a Service provider Databarracks.
Research firm Gartner recently released its ‘Hype Cycle for Cloud Security’ report, an annual assessment that identifies the maturity of a cross-section of technologies within the IT industry. With a focus on cloud security, the report identified cloud computing within Government departments as entering a period being described as the ‘trough of disillusionment’. This forecast suggests that early enthusiasm for cloud services has tempered due to widespread concerns about security.
Groucutt explains that a key reason for this shift amongst public sector organisations is the slow start to Government initiatives such as the G-Cloud framework, now entering its fourth iteration:
“In light of the Hype Cycle report from Gartner a lot of people will be asking why cloud computing within Government is entering a ‘trough of disillusionment’. The report describes security as the key factor behind this, with concerns over data location and jurisdiction as significant contributors to the Government’s reticent attitude.
“While security concerns are understandable given the level of sensitive data handled by government departments, it is surprising and somewhat worrying that public sector organisations are not more aware of the schemes and solutions that specifically address these issues, notably the G-Cloud framework. Traditionally, Government departments have been happy to sit back and go with the same SI’s they have worked with for years. Maybe it’s a fear of something new or resistance to change, but sticking with what they know has caused problems.
“In recent years we have seen many failed projects, costing organisations millions of pounds, which have largely been due to their poor delivery by big SIs. By turning to SMEs, the public sector can help deliver projects in a more agile, cost-effective and timely manner, transforming the procurement process. G-Cloud services bought through the CloudStore are the perfect starting place.”
Groucutt continued: “A huge amount of time and effort has gone into creating a vast network of reliable and secure cloud service providers (CSPs), in order to open up the market to more entrepreneurial SMEs and dispel the current oligopoly which exists within IT procurement. This flexibility and increased choice comes with huge cost and time savings.
“The research from Gartner suggests that these services are not being communicated effectively and we are consequently entering this ‘trough’. Guidance is needed to raise awareness and promote the framework further within the public sector, so that understanding and enthusiasm around the services available grows to match that of the suppliers.
Groucutt concluded: “Suppliers to the framework are huge champions of it and have backed the programme since its inception – we need to get buyers to that level. Doing this will open up the IT market and expose buyers to the innovative and entrepreneurial cloud services that were previously unavailable, or simply unaffordable. This new-found freedom of choice brings huge cost and efficiency savings that don’t compromise frontline services, and should help to lift government cloud computing out of its disillusioned trough.”
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