The cloud community: adoption of the cloud in local government

Six years ago, the Cabinet Office issued its ‘cloud first’ policy for the public sector. However, despite the best intentions, uptake of cloud technology has, until recently, been slower than expected in the majority of local councils.

This is changing. In the past two years, we have seen a steady increase in local authorities storing their data in the cloud. Indeed, a recent report from Eduserv found that in 2018, 62% of councils stored data in the cloud. This was up from 52% back in 2016. While the uptake is still slower than in commercial sectors, local authorities are steadily moving in one direction: the cloud.

cloud computing

As the private sector continues to raise consumer expectations with their cloud-native services and digital touch points, the public sector is chasing the pack. Local authorities have a responsibility to provide the best service to members of the public.

With so much pressure on local government, taking the leap to cloud can, however, be a difficult thing to justify to senior leadership without assurance of success. In addition, some decision makers will still be faced with hesitation to take the leap, even if they can prove success is possible. This is a result of a risk-averse culture in the public sector.

But changes have to be made to gain efficiency and to drive innovation. Therefore, IT stakeholders need to be able to justify the decision to move to the cloud with clear proof points of how benefits are being delivered to the citizen.

The single simplest means of gaining proof points of success lies in visibility. When making alterations to business-critical technology, tech stakeholders need to be able to monitor the state of their infrastructure. Being able to have a full view of how applications are performing, and where choke points are appearing in the network is invaluable to enabling a great digital experience through a time of change. It also enables IT stakeholders to benchmark where they are today, and what they will achieve through cloud and technology investments.

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