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Thursday, 05 February 2015 00:55

Offshoring of data as greatest barrier to cloud adoption in public sector

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MPs and peers call for greater adoption of cloud services in the public sector and support G-Cloud, but reveal data protection concerns

A newsurvey ‘Data and Cloud: What Parliamentarians Think’, which gauges attitudes to G-Cloud, the adoption of cloud services in the public sector and issues surrounding data protection and privacy has found parliamentarians are looking for a greater use of cloud in the public sector.

The survey sponsored by Skyscape – a Government supplier - found that a significant majority of MPs (82%) call for greater use of cloud services in the public sector.  This can be attributed in part to the success of the Government’s G-Cloud programme – now in its sixth iteration – in supporting the UK public sector and innovative SMEs. 

Most peers familiar with G-Cloud (85%) believe that the programme fosters economic growth and creates jobs, and the majority of informed peers and MPs (82%) believe that it drives innovation. 

However, according to 57% of MPs and 58% of peers, the greatest obstacle facing cloud adoption is offshoring.  This is closely followed by concerns over data privacy and security (56% of MPs and 55% of peers).  Importantly, the survey found near perfect agreement that the UK provides adequate protection for processing public data, with 97% of MPs and 83% of peers supporting that statement.  These results indicate that parliamentarians take data privacy and protection issues seriously, believing that public sector data should be processed securely in the UK.

“G-Cloud is a good news story for any politician, given the huge progress that has been made in delivering better public services for less, while creating a more open and transparent marketplace for all,” said Simon Hansford, CEO of Skyscape Cloud Services.  “Concerns about offshoring affecting the security of data are valid and timely given recent media and political focus on this issue.  G-Cloud buyers are currently required to identify the location where their data will be processed and stored, and to understand the jurisdictional and legal implications in order to make an informed risk assessment.” 

Another barrier to cloud adoption identified by the survey is a lack of widespread knowledge and understanding about cloud services.  Despite the statistics provided by GDS, 34% of MPs do not agree that the public sector market has been made more easily accessible to SMEs.  Indeed, 55% of MPs and 53% of peers see a lack of education and awareness as a major barrier to cloud adoption, and only 10% of peers and 3% of MPs claimed that they have a good understanding of the upcoming European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).  The GDPR, which will become law in 2017, will substantially increase fines for breaches of data protection legislation, to up to 5% of global turnover or €100,000,000, whichever is the greater.

Hansford continued: “More clearly needs to be done to show our parliamentarians how taking a bold and innovative approach to ICT procurement and working with SMEs through G-Cloud can deliver real, tangible economic benefits, both to public sector organisations and to the UK taxpayer.”

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