Over the past 18 months or so, we have seen a big move towards the G-Cloud (the government and public sector equivalent of cloud computing).Posted on 07 January 2015 - G-Cloud
We know this because Tibus is a registered supplier of cloud services listed on the gov.uk website’s Digital Marketplace, where UK public sector organisations go to procure such services.
Official figures show that up until November 2014, UK public sector bodies had spent a total of £393,672,546.35 on G-Cloud services.
So, it’s clear that governments are choosing cloud solutions, but why?
To answer that question, we can turn to a handy document produced by the Scottish Government. Scotland's Digital Future: Data Hosting and Data Centre Strategy for the Scottish Public Sector outlines precisely why the Scottish Government feels the G-Cloud is the right option for it.
Here are a few of the reasons mentioned:
The document describes cost saving as the “biggest headline advantage of cloud computing”. It points to a reduction in purchasing servers and software, greater flexibility and reduced data storage overheads as key areas where savings can be made.
Governments create and store a lot of data. The flexibility and almost unlimited supply of cloud storage capacity is a nice safety net for any government.
The opportunity to scale - in either direction - their services as required is very appealing to organisations that might previously have found themselves tied into long-term ICT infrastructure deals that were no longer fit for purpose.
Traditionally, governments were once regarded as the pinnacle of security. They now freely admit that is not the case and would rather leave security concerns to specialist cloud providers. For instance, speaking at the Cyber Security Summit 2014 in London, UK Government Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude said: “Doing things in the cloud is more secure than doing [it] ourselves. It is comforting to know where your data centres are - although in government we don’t always. But actually cloud providers live or die by their cloud security.”
Similarly to the security situation, outsourcing data storage and hosting to specialists frees up resources for an organisation to focus on its core business. In the case of governments, that means more time for governing.
Cloud computing requires fewer resources, consumes less energy and allows governments to cut the carbon footprint of their ICT infrastructure.
With cloud data usually stores in multiple physical locations, governments have a better chance of continuity in the case of a disaster affecting a single location.
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