Local authorities spending little on cloud technology, FOI shows

Under 3% of total IT spending amongst council in 2014 was on cloud technology, according to research using freedom of information requests to all 435 UK local authorities.

Of those requested for information, 113 replied and from this nearly half said that they spent a portion of their budget on the cloud in the 2014-15 financial year, however over a third failed to spend anything on cloud technologies.

Over 75% of total IT spend across local authorities was reportedly on ‘in-house’ technology with less than 3% on cloud technology, a breakdown that has been described as “disappointing” by the Cloud Industry Forum.

CIF chairman for industry standards Ian Osborne commented on the research: “What’s stopping people [in the public sector] adopting cloud in the same way people are doing so in the private sector quite dramatically?

There is a question to be asked there. Is this money being wisely spent? What is stopping the sharing of these cloud services [across councils]? I am slightly puzzled as to why there isn’t more sharing, particularly when they are being asked to reduce their budgets so much.

It’s a bit disappointing… that we haven’t seen more economies of scale in local councils.”

The Renfrewshire authority spent over a fifth of its budget on cloud technology, the highest across those councils studied, but nearly a half of authorities spent 2% or less on the cloud.

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