Research shows public sector cloud adoption is soaring, but care is needed when choosing migration partner | Cloud industry forum

Research shows public sector cloud adoption is soaring, but care is needed when choosing migration partner

Problems during migration can be eased with trusted provider relationships

Rates of adoption of cloud services in the public sector are increasing rapidly, but more care is needed when choosing migration partners to minimise recurrent issues. This is a key finding from new research into ‘Cloud adoption trends in the UK public sector’ from Cloud Services Provider Outsourcery and the Cloud Industry Forum (CIF). 

Research conducted on behalf of Outsourcery and CIF aimed to determine the level of Cloud adoption among public sector participants. It found that 78 per cent of public sector organisations have some form of Cloud-based services in use today, having risen from only 38 per cent in 2010. In addition, there is increased depth of Cloud use within this sector, with 83 per cent using two or more hosting solutions within their organisations, rising from 53 per cent last year. 

However, respondents also reported a number of challenges in moving to the Cloud. Commonly, the public sector has concerns regarding the complexity of migration and data sovereignty, at 44 per cent and 41 per cent respectively, alongside contractual problems or queries. These problems can often be traced back to the Cloud-migration partner, which can be remedied by a careful pre-procurement engagement that thoroughly examines all prospective Cloud suppliers. 

Simone Hume, head of Public Sector at Outsourcery commented: “Complex migration routes, qualms with data sovereignty and contractual queries, while not denting adoption or ultimate satisfaction, are clearly causing some frustration and concern and there is a risk that this will result in organisations not realising the full benefits of a cloud solution. The issues we found seem to have a common cause in the partner chosen to work with, who either didn’t meet an organisation’s needs, or didn’t fully understand or support its migration to the Cloud.

“Take Unified Communications (UC) for instance, with tools like Skype for Business. 42 per cent of respondents have already adopted UC in their businesses, with 16 per cent planning to use it in the future. While an extremely useful tool for enabling collaboration and remote working across disparate offices, a public sector organisation’s workforce could reject the tool entirely without proper support from a Cloud supplier. We had this at the front of our minds when we deployed Skype for Business with Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust. At every stage, we were careful to keep the Trust informed about deployment options, migration considerations identifying any possible challenges with a jointly agreed plan.  At the same time, we allayed any data sovereignty and security fears through communicating our use of enterprise grade UK data centres. The result has been increased effective use of time and a more collaborative culture for the Trust, which other public sector bodies can also attain with the right partner choice.”

Alex Hilton, CEO of CIF concluded: “This research into public sector Cloud adoption has been a confirmation of the fact that this sector is increasingly seeing the benefits of migrating to the Cloud. Able to raise cost-effectiveness, productivity and employee satisfaction, Cloud services are an excellent choice for any organisation working with the public’s interests at heart.”