UK Public Sector Is Falling For The Public Cloud

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Majority of public sector organisations use public cloud services, even if not officially signed off by IT department

Public cloud services are proving to be an increasingly popular choice for public sector organisations looking to achieve cost savings, a study by a number of leading vendors has revealed.

And it seems that many haved opted for the public cloud, even if it has not been officially sanctioned by the IT department.

Public Takeup

awsThe EMC, VCE and VMware survey of more than 600 business decision makers shows that British public sector organisations are embracing public cloud services.

It found that well over three quarters (85 percent) of public sector respondents are using some form of public cloud services. This is despite the fact that the European security agency ENISA has previously warned that private clouds remain the best option for organisations worried about governance issues.

And even more worryingly, just under two-thirds (60 percent) of respondents said they use some form of public cloud services whether validated by IT or not. This obviously introduces a security concern, and indeed 42 percent of respondents admitted that security exploits are one of the biggest dangers in using public clouds.

But necessity it seems is driving the public cloud adoption. The survey found that the most commonly used reason for using public cloud service is for back-up and recovery services (36 percent), closely followed by hosting internal applications (35 percent).

The survey also revealed why the public sector is so keen on the public cloud.

Cost issues (namely affordability) seems to be the biggest driver, with 34 percent of respondents citing this as the main reason for choosing to buy-in external cloud services within their department. Just under a quarter (23 percent) said their reason was ease of use, while 20 percent said they used public cloud because it was the right solution for the application they were using.

“The findings from this research are very positive for the public sector,” said Andy Tait, Head of Public Sector Strategy at VMware. “Line of businesses are using public cloud services to drive efficiencies across the organisation – both for employees to access data inside the organisation, and to speed the delivery of citizen-focused services, for example passport applications, that fluctuate at times throughout the year.”

azureBut he pointed to the need for a hybrid approach, to ensure that public sector organisations can get easy access to cloud services, but in a compliant manner.

“In order for the UK public sector to drive efficiencies in a secure, flexible, agile and compliant manner, business users need to look at embracing a hybrid cloud strategy that can provide portability of workloads, one set of management tools and deliver services such as disaster recovery and built in security – without the cost of having to investing in unnecessary resources and tools,” said Tait.

Government Cloud

The British government has been championing the cloud push for a number of years now.

In February this year, it said that services listed on the sixth generation of the public sector G-Cloud had gone live on the government’s new Digital Marketplace. The government claimed that applications were up by 15 percent over G-Cloud 5.

Meanwhile the research from the Cloud Industry Forum (CIF) has found that the overall cloud adoption rate in the UK now stands at 84 percent.

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Author: Tom Jowitt
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