Most public sector IT execs give G-Cloud a wide berth

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Local authorities have only spent £73 million on G-Cloud since its inception over four years ago

Despite total sales on the government’s G-Cloud digital marketplace reaching £1.39 billion, over half (58 percent) of public sector IT executives have not used G-Cloud in the past year.

Although the government is aiming to drive digitisation in public services through the G-Cloud framework, only 8 percent of public sector IT executives have used G-Cloud more than five times in the last year.

These are among findings from research carried out by cloud and network services provider Exponential-e. The study questioned IT professionals across the UK, covering local and central government, health, emergency services, education and the third sector.

Data-centrePublic sector organisations are increasingly viewing the implementation of new digital systems as a key objective to help boost efficiency and improve services.

The majority of IT executives (57 percent) questioned rated digital transformation as being of “considerable” or “high importance” for their organisation.

Over half (54 percent) also view compliance and security as a matter of importance, indicating that the need to improve data handling practices is an essential element of digitisation for public sector IT teams.

However, only around a quarter (27 percent) indicated that cloud adoption was an important challenge for the next year.

“Many public sector organisations are missing the opportunity which cloud provides to cost-effectively support innovative digital transformation initiatives,” said David Lozdan, head of public sector at Exponential-e.

“According to government data, out of the £1.39 billion total sales since the launch of G-Cloud, central government departments have been responsible for £1.06 billion, compared with only £73 million from local authorities and £245 million from the wider public sector.”

Cloud 2He said: “In order for these organisations to achieve their digitisation goals, there is clearly a gap to be filled when it comes to engaging within the G-Cloud framework to access secure, flexible cloud services capable of servicing the sector’s growing needs.”

A third (33 percent) of respondents also indicated that concerns over data sovereignty would stop them from using public cloud services as part of a digital transformation programme.

This issue is particularly pressing given the uncertainty of the UK’s political status following its decision to exit the European Union, with 41 percent of public sector IT executives believing that Brexit will have a “significant” impact on their organisation.

“With questions over what Brexit means for the future of the UK still looming large, data protection regulation is set to become increasingly complex as the government negotiates the departure. As such, it’s essential that public sector organisations carefully consider how their IT services are provisioned and take advantage of the flexibility, accreditations and quality assurance available within G-Cloud, said Lozdan.

In the case of public cloud provision, Microsoft, Amazon, Google, IBM and others have or are planning to expand their data centre provision in the UK to help overcome many data sovereignty issues.

@AntonySavvas