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ClF survey shows gradual cloud take-up in public sector



Cloud Industry Forum highlights understanding of benefits of migration combined with significant concerns

Most public sector organisations are using one or two cloud based services, but the majority are also expecting problems in the complexity of migration, according to a newly published survey by the Cloud Industry Forum (CIF).

The results come from CIF’s newly published survey, carried out by Vanson Bourne, of 250 senior IT and decision-makers in public and private sectors, of which the public sector respondents made up 20%.

They include findings that all have begun some type of move to the cloud, with 34% of public sector respondents reporting their organisation now uses one cloud service, 37% for two, 15% for three and 7% for four, with 2% for more and 5% don’t knows.

A question on the perceived difficulties in migration indicated that 54% saw it in the complexity of the process, 41% in a lack of internal skills and knowledge, 37% in worries over data sovereignty and 32% each in the dependency on internet access and clarity around charges for the services.

Similarly, there were concerns about the use of cloud services, with 67% pointing to data privacy and 40% each to security and the fear of loss of control.

Belief in benefits

But the survey also showed that public sector respondents were aware of the benefits: 48% saw them largely in terms of cloud replacing legacy IT and 30% laying the ground for innovation.

They also highlighted the skills needed in their organisations, with 40% pointing to strategy through leadership, 36% to cloud technology specialists and 28% to the ability to create a digital roadmap for implementation.

Alex Hilton (pictured), chief executive officer of CIF, said: “What came out loud and clear from our research was that while respondents believe that their senior leadership teams generally recognise the need to deliver digital transformation, they are less confident in their ability to actually deliver it – particularly in the public sector.”

The report says there is evidence that cloud is changing the way IT departments work across the public and private sectors, with around three quarters saying it is changing the role of their staff. A third of respondents spent less time troubleshooting application issues and a quarter spent more on planning, strategy and other value added activities.

“All of this should be heartening for IT staff, assuming of course that they are able to adapt and hone their skillsets,” Hilton said. “Flexibility is now the order of the day and staff must equip themselves with the skills needed to thrive in the digital economy.

“Those staff that fail to adapt, and the businesses that they work for, will find themselves at a distinct disadvantage.”

CIF has created a Professional Membership programme offering a structured learning roadmap and testing for individual and corporate members to follow, leading to a recognised Professional Cloud Certification. 

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