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Monday, 10 August 2015 13:00

Public sector ignoring IT and moving straight to the cloud

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The majority of public sector businesses have deployed some sort of cloud service regardless of whether or not it’s been validated by IT.

New figures from a joint EMC, VCE and VMware survey shows that well over three quarters (85%) of respondents from the UK public sector are using some form of public cloud services, and nearly two-thirds (60%) are going ahead with cloud without consulting the IT department.

The research shows that there’s no major overall reason for bypassing the IT department and going to the cloud, but instead there are many factors that make the decision, led predominantly by affordability (more than a third of respondents [34%] cited this as the main reason for choosing to buy-in external cloud services within their department), followed by ease of use (23%), while 20% stated they used public cloud because it was the right solution for the application they were using.

When asked what their chief concern was from moving to the cloud, nearly half (43%) cited loss of productivity internally if their external IT provider suffered downtime, security exploits came a close second with 42%, followed by reputational cost to the organisation (36%) and loss of data (34%) in third and fourth place.

The primary use for the shadow cloud solutions were not out of the ordinary. A third (36%) cited it was used for backup and recovery services, closely followed by hosting internal applications (35%) and external applications (29%). Interestingly the platform of choice for the public sector is not the obvious one. Of those surveyed the Google App Engine was the main choice with 43% followed by UK local external IT services, and then the leader for practically every other sector Amazon Web Services at 14%. However, as this is line of business leaders choosing the solution, it’s probably not that surprising, as AWS is more tech-friendly than user-friendly.

“The findings from this research are very positive for the public sector. Line of businesses are using public cloud services to drive efficiencies across the organisation – both for employees to access data inside the organisation, and to speed the delivery of citizen-focused services, for example, passport applications, that fluctuate at times throughout the year,” comments Andy Tait, Head of Public Sector Strategy, VMware.

“In order for the UK public sector to drive efficiencies in a secure, flexible, agile and compliant manner, business users need to look at embracing a hybrid cloud strategy that can provide portability of workloads, one set of management tools and deliver services such as disaster recovery and built in security – without the cost of having to investing in unnecessary resources and tools,” concludes Tait.

To see the full results of the survey EMC has prepared a free white paper Public Sector Industry Report

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