The Government's Cloud First policy

Steve Sutcliffe
By Steve Sutcliffe
Have you heard about it? Chances are... probably not actually!
The Government's Cloud First policy
It was first announced way back in 2013, believe it or not and the idea was to encourage government departments and public sector organisations to consider cloud solutions first (as the name suggests). It is particularly encouraged when it comes to enterprise IT and back office solutions where software as a service (SaaS) and even platform as a service (PaaS) models can be very cost effective.

If the public organisation does want to pursue an alternative to the cloud, then according to the Cloud First Policy they would need to demonstrate that it offers better value for money, as the government strives to control spend.

So what are the benefits of the cloud?

Well for one thing, it limits the upfront costs and investments you need to make in infrastructure, often reducing costs over all. It’s super flexible so things can be trialled and changed with very little cost implications and pricing models tend to be scalable, so you can increase and decrease what you need when you need it. It’s greener too! In general, cloud solutions tend to be economical with space and power consumption overrall. Last but by no means least, cloud solutions are more easily upgraded as the world continues to change, ultimately making them viable for long term planning.

Why then, given all these benefits, does it appear as though the Cloud First Policy has largely well, let’s say struggled to get off the ground?

Cloud cons

There appears to be two main barriers to cloud adoption: security and compliance concerns and support for legacy systems.

When it comes to security and compliance, the biggest problem is the perception that the cloud is inherently less secure than housing data on premise. Moreover, when data breaches do occur in cloud environments, more often than not the source of the attack comes from inside the organisation, meaning it stems from employees falling victim to things like phishing.

Despite all of this though, until we can successfully change this perception of the cloud through more research and better education on cyber security and how the cloud works, then adoption will continue to be slow, especially across big organisations where lots of data is at stake.

For many businesses, on premise data is still their preferred route, and there's nothing wrong with that. Physical on-site data is ideal for organisations that want full control over their data and equipment, however it is always good practice to have an off-site backup incase a disaster strikes your on-site infrastructure.

The second factor affecting cloud adoption, support for legacy systems, is perhaps even more intimidating than getting to grips with security and compliance, not least because it requires plenty of thoughtful preparation and often no small amount of money. This is where the right expertise really is key. Either cultivating critical skills within your own team which will see your business safely into the future or outsourcing the work to a trusted and reliable partner, skilled administrations and technicians are vital to successful adoption of the cloud and they are few and far between.

If you’re thinking of migrating to the cloud, why not talk to one of our experts today and find out what the cloud could do for your business? If you're still firmly in the 'on-premise camp', then we can help you too! If you're looking to upgrade existing hardware, please get in touch.
 

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Meet the MD: James Baird

Meet the MD: James Baird

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