UK councils opt for hybrid cloud, report finds

New research has found that 80% of councils are still relying primarily on on-premise IT, despite an increase of cloud services used in local government.

Local Government Cloud Adoption 2018, published by Socitm and Eduserv, reveals that although two thirds of councils are using cloud computing, the rate of cloud adoption is being slowed by the need to maintain old IT infrastructure, thanks to what they refer to as a ‘legacy IT hangover’.

The report states that only four-in-ten councils have a cloud policy or strategy in place, while just 72% said they could use G-Cloud to procure IT.

Although 62% of councils now use cloud infrastructure, the rate of adoption has only increased by 10% in the two years since the last Eduserv study into cloud adoption.

The result of maintaining on-premise infrastructure and slowly adopting cloud services is a hybrid IT model, which is most common in the sector, with 64% stating their organisation deploys IT in this way. More of those councils that are using cloud are adopting the public cloud (36%) than private cloud (27%).

Andy Powell, chief technology officer at Eduserv, commented: “Unfortunately, a legacy IT hangover caused by outstanding contractual obligations and the demands of maintaining or upgrading old systems so they remain fit for purpose, is slowing the rate at which councils can move forward.

“To better equip their organisations for a digital future it is clear that councils need to move quickly to formalise their approach to cloud IT, educate their organisations about the business outcomes that cloud can deliver and shift focus from maintaining IT to partnering the business through that change.”

Martin Ferguson, director of policy and research at Socitm, said: “I would urge local authorities to rationalise software portfolios and to put in place intelligent policies to embrace cloud offerings for the benefit of citizens.”

The full report can be downloaded here.

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