Many public sector bodies are experiencing the same common challenges of increased citizen demands and expectations, and a call to drive the digital transformation agenda. At the same time, IT departments are constrained by continuously changing organisational, legislative and budgetary demands.
To address these challenges, public sector bodies look to the public cloud. By using public cloud to deliver true digital transformation, public sector bodies can enjoy the benefits derived from increasing efficiency and effectiveness, improving agility, delivering better citizen experience and, ultimately, reducing the cosy pf delivering services to the citizen, However, achieving these benefits doesn’t come without its difficulties; these can include security concerns, data sovereignty, and a lack of training and early engagement guidance on best practice.
The benefits of the public cloud - scalability, cost efficiencies, agility, availability are driving more organisations to move to the public cloud, overcoming the initial fears of losing control. It's no surprise that, according to research published by the Cloud Industry Forum, 78% of research respondents said they were using more than one cloud-based service. The wider adoption of cloud computing in the public sector has been further encouraged by the UK Government’s Cloud First policy for all technology decisions driven.
Public cloud has been proven to inherently offer a more secure computing environment than many on-premise data centres, and at a fraction of the cost. Public cloud has reached a tipping point where as more organisations are adopting it, and proving that it is fit-for-purpose, meeting rigorous compliance standards bring more to the platform which in turn drives greater peer adoption.
Public cloud is now considered the new norm, a preferred option for new computing needs. The Government Digital Service is recognising that “it’s possible for public sector organisations to safely put highly personal and sensitive data into the public cloud.” The argument has now changed from 'why cloud?' to 'why not cloud'?
Data sovereignty is another potential blocker to moving public sector data and services to the cloud. Data sovereignty refers to data being held in a country in adherence to the laws of that state. A recent Eduserv research found that over a quarter of the participating councils were not able to provide a breakdown of where their data was being held. In a Pre-Brexit era, with systems hosted in the European regions; using data centres located in Ireland and Amsterdam many are fearful of the future. However with Amazon, Microsoft and Google now having a UK presence, the data sovereignty concerns have now been addressed allowing UK organisation to enjoy the benefits of the public cloud.
Training and best practice
A final obstacle before the cloud adoption is the lack of in-house training and early engagement guidance on best practice. Organisations want to stay in control of their infrastructure and services, and don't want to be reliant on third-parties to keep the lights on. Together with government procurement initiatives breaking down large contracts, this presents the opportunity of releasing from large legacy suppliers to more nimble players capable of truly helping deliver on these challenges using the public cloud.
Now is the age of the disruptor such as KCOM: inexpensive, agile, and capable. With our rich public and private sector experience, we are poised to help public sector clients, wherever they may be on their journey to the cloud.
KCOM’s Citizen First approach is inspired by the evolution of digital transformation service delivery via public cloud enabling public sector bodies to rise above the various organisational and technology barriers that exist and put the citizen first.
To find out more about the public sector shift to cloud, join the CIO Dilemma: Barriers to innovation in the public sector webinar on September 27th.