The digital transformation journey (Part Five): Embracing the Cloud

In the final instalment of our five-part look at key public sector digital transformation trends we focus on cloud-based infrastructure and systems – and the challenges that need to be overcome if 2017 is to be the year when cloud really hits new heights

For years, migration to the Cloud has been seen as inevitable for the public sector and an enabler of huge opportunities for efficiency and agility, and there is broad recognition of the transformational potential of Cloud services. Yet, many public sector organisations have yet to embrace the Cloud fully.

Even among staunch advocates of the Cloud, there remain some lingering concerns – and in some cases, misconceptions – which have prevented the public sector from fully realising the benefits. If 2017 is to be the year when Cloud adoption really does gain the traction that has been predicted in the past, we believe the following points to be central to the roll-out:

  1. Cloud services need to be flexible and scalable to meet public sector demands and providers will need to do more to help organisations implement more complex solutions that tie in with existing solutions. For example, a hybrid Cloud solution – combining public and private cloud platforms – might be appropriate for some organisations which need to manage complex legacy systems.
  2. Service providers must demonstrate that they can offer service management capabilities to smooth issues and ensure Cloud projects meet their customers’ future requirements.
  3. Public sector organisations will need to overcome concerns surrounding their capability to manage compliance and regulation within the cloud – perhaps by working with other organisations that have already implemented or delivered similar solutions. The sharing of ideas will be increasingly important.
  4. Savings will remain the key driver for adoption – although somewhat paradoxically, the tentative nature of many deployments so far suggests many organisations are yet to capture the true financial benefits of the Cloud. This may change in 2017 as confidence in the Cloud grows.
  5. Misconceptions over Cloud security need to be overcome. A recent cloud adoption survey found that around three-quarters (73%) of respondents cited data compliance and security as a major challenge. Yet, according to the Cloud Industry Forum, only 2% of organisations in its research stated that they had experienced a breach of security when using a Cloud service. Any security risks can be further minimised by using Public Services Network (PSN) compliant and International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) accredited Cloud services providers.

A recent McKinsey article said that IT departments have to get away from the concept of ‘building IT’ to ‘consuming services’. Through 2017 we predict that organisations will therefore become much more about procuring services and integrating services to meet their outcomes, as opposed to the more traditional approach of building technology solutions.

Overall, public sector organisations are realising that they don’t just need infrastructure. Rather they need help to migrate and transform services, deal with security concerns, and with the capability required to operate and optimise this new model. The right solutions that tick all of those boxes do exist – and we expect to see much more of them in 2017.


Tell us about your digital journey

As the year begins to draw to a close, we’re thinking about what 2017 will hold for digital transformation in the public sector, and wonder how organisations are adjusting their vision, but we need your help.

Working in partnership with Agilisys, we’re inviting organisations across the country to take part in a short survey to tell us about their vision for digital, the opportunities they see, the challenges they’ve faced, and crucially, how far they’ve come on their journey.

Complete the survey, and as a thank you, we’ll send you an advance copy of the resulting report to be published in the new year. There’s also an opportunity to enter into a prize draw to win an iPad mini in time for Christmas. Don’t delay – the survey closes on Friday 16 December.

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