A smarter approach to public sector cloud adoption

By bedigital on March 15th, 2018

An article published on The Register this week, highlighted findings from recent data analysis on the growth of government cloud spend with hyperscalers (with a focus on Amazon Web Services (AWS) and the impact to UK SME’s.

Whilst quotes from political figures tended to focus on the approach to payment of taxes of these larger organisations, it was remarks around how SMEs can compete and the lack of cloud adoption by UK government that piqued my interest.

Government agencies have adopted cloud

The proportion of spending on cloud may be small when compared to the overall budget of public sector IT, however, where adoption has occurred, the approach has typically been siloed. The result is multiple islands of largely non-integrated cloud infrastructure, duplication of management software, and little in terms of defined standards when it comes to deployment, configuration and security.

Legacy (still) rules, OK?

Many government agencies still run and operate a lot of legacy software and systems which can be challenging to migrate successfully to the cloud. So, a new approach of re-developing solutions needs to be fostered, rather that looking at “lifting and shifting” from on-premise datacentres to the cloud.

The Government Digital Service (GDS), although not a panacea, has gone some-way to helping by providing defined standards and approaches to designing modern digital services.

David vs Goliath

I’m not saying that UK SMEs can’t compete with the likes of Amazon, Microsoft, Google et al – however it is challenging in the cloud hosting sector to compete in terms of scale, performance, redundancy and the broader eco-systems that these companies bring to the table.

Where SMEs (such as DMSG!) can really add value, is bringing their experience in looking at cloud computing holistically. That is, not only helping government agencies get into the cloud, but decide what should actually be migrated, and facilitate collaboration between agencies, helping them to move away from the siloed approach mentioned above. It’s also a case of looking at what’s already in the cloud, identifying workloads to be optimised, driving efficiencies, and ultimately realising the benefits (including cost savings) that cloud originally promised.

Richard has over 15 years’ technical and operations consultancy experience. Working in the managed service and outsourcing industry, he has a strong track record in providing thought leadership in service, infrastructure and digital transformation.

Working in central government for several years and managing government contracts, he is able to formulate strategic direction of security requirements, compliance, GDS digital standards, agile methodologies and working within the ITIL framework.

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