In February the government invested in the cloud, launching CloudStore, an “app store” offering cloud services to the public sector. The aim of this is to reduce IT spending by £200 million a year, however results from a recent survey by VMware could put this in jeopardy.
The report suggests that not everyone can see the benefits, with public sector IT workers appearing less than enthusiastic about moving to the cloud. 59% of respondents said that they were undecided on whether to use CloudStore, giving reasons such as security issues, a lack of understanding, and already being fixed in an existing contract.
Only 31% of respondents said they would probably or definitely buy cloud services from the app store, despite the government claiming that it makes it easier and cheaper to buy “off the shelf” services, such as electronic records management, email, enterprise resource planning and word processing. This suggests that the public sector is failing to recognise the benefits that the change would have, and more needs to be done to encourage it.
However, The Liverpool Women’s and Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trusts have found several advantages, such as it puts an end to long IT contracts and it’s a lot cheaper. Zafar Chaudry, the chief information officer for the Trusts, said that they achieved cost savings of 10% by replacing four data centres with cloud services. He is now looking to use more of CloudStore in the future in order to further reduce costs.
It’s clear that there is value in the cloud, but UK companies have been reluctant to make the change. But, if we can step out of our comfort zone, it could save time and money, making our businesses much more efficient.